Background Previous studies of variation in the magnitude of socioeconomic inequalities in health between countries have methodological drawbacks.
We tried to overcome these difficulties in a large study that compared inequalities in morbidity and mortality between different countries in western Europe.
Methods Data on four indicators of self-reported morbidity by level of education, occupational class, and/or level of income were obtained for 11 countries, and years ranging from 1985 to 1992.
Data on total mortality by level of education and/or occupational class were obtained for nine countries for about 1980 to about 1990.
We calculated odds ratios or rate ratios to compare a broad lower with a broad upper socioeconomic group.
We also calculated an absolute measure for inequalities in mortality, a risk difference, which takes into account differences between countries in average rates of illhealth.
Findings Inequalities in health were found in all countries.
Odds ratios for morbidity ranged between about 1.5 and 2.5, and rate ratios for mortality between about 1.3 and 1.7. For men's perceived general health, for instance, inequalities by level of education in Norway were larger than in Switzerland or Spain (odds ratios [95% Cl] : 2.57 [2.07-3.18], 1.60 [1.30-1.96], 1.65 [1.44-1.88], respectively).
For mortality by occupational class, in men aged 30-44, the rate ratio was highest in Finland (1.76 [1.69-1. (...)
Mots-clés Pascal : Statut socioéconomique, Morbidité, Mortalité, Inégalité, Santé, Europe Ouest, Europe, Etude comparative, Homme, Etude multicentrique, Système santé
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Socioeconomic status, Morbidity, Mortality, Inequality, Health, Western Europe, Europe, Comparative study, Human, Multicenter study, Health system
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 97-0338676
Code Inist : 002B30A01A2. Création : 12/09/1997.