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Understanding socio-economic inequalities in childhood respiratory health

Propper, Carol and Rigg, John A. (2006) Understanding socio-economic inequalities in childhood respiratory health. CASEpaper, CASE/109. Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

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Abstract

Asthma is the most common chronic disease of childhood. Recent evidence has shown a socio-economic gradient in its distribution. This paper examines whether a number of factors argued to have led to a rise in the incidence of asthma might also explain the social gradient. Several of these have been the object of policy intervention, though not necessarily with the aim of lowering childhood respiratory conditions. Using a large cohort study (the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children) we find significant inequalities in three respiratory conditions in middle childhood. We investigate eight potential mediating factors: exposure to other children in infancy, child’s diet, poor housing conditions, maternal smoking, parental history of asthma, poor child health at birth, maternal age at child’s birth and local deprivation. We find that each of these alone typically explains a relatively modest part of each respiratory inequality, with child’s diet, local deprivation and maternal smoking generally the most important. But taken together, the mediating factors account for a substantial part of the respiratory inequalities. So the socio-economic gradient appears to operate through a number of inter-correlated pathways, some of which may be amenable to policy intervention.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/case
Additional Information: © 2006 Carol Propper and John Rigg
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD)
Research centres and groups > Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion (CASE)
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Identification Number: CASE/109
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2008 09:17
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/6238/

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