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Socio-economic disparities in physical health in 10 European countries

Avendano, Mauricio, Aro, Arja R. and Mackenbach, Johan P. (2005) Socio-economic disparities in physical health in 10 European countries. In: Borsch-Supan, Axel, Brugiavini, Agar, Jürges, Hendrik, Mackenbach, Johan P., Siegrist, Johannes and Weber, Guglielmo, (eds.) Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe: First Results From the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA), Mannheim, Germany, pp. 89-94. ISBN 300015812X

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During the last few decades, European countries have attempted to solve one of the oldest problems in modern societies: the health gap between the rich and the poor. At the international level, the WHO (World Health Organisation) has initiated numerous campaigns and spent considerable efforts to eliminate these disparities. However, socioeconomic differences in health do not only prevail across Europe, but also seem to exist in all dimensions of health: Individuals with a lower socio-economic status have more health problems, face more disability and live shorter than those with a more privileged socio-economic position (Cambois, Robine and Hayward, 2001; Huisman, Kunst and Mackenbach, 2003). Furthermore, the health gap between the rich and the poor may be increasing with recent changes in European policy (Mackenbach et al., 2003). Thus, health disparities remain an unacceptable outcome in current European society and should be further examined. SHARE represents a unique opportunity to explore the nature and magnitude of health disparities in Europe. This contribution presents an overview of socio-economic disparities in physical health in Europe. Elderly populations experience a wide array of health problems; added to the detrimental impact of ageing, those in the lower classes experience an even larger burden of morbidity and disability. We collected data on a wide array of physical health problems and were able to explore how socio-economic status may have an impact on specific diseases or functional aspects of health. SHARE is one of the first studies to collect data on socio-economic and health variables using a standard instrument across many European countries.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2005 Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging
Divisions: Social Policy
LSE Health
Lifecourse, Ageing & Population Health
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2013 15:51
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 05:01
Funders: European Commission

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