Socioeconomic inequality in non-communicable diseases in Europe between 2004 and 2015: evidence from the SHARE survey

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Abstract

BackgroundThe scope of this work was to investigate socioeconomic inequalities among European adults aged 50 or older in chronic diseases and behavioural risk factors for these diseases, namely, smoking habits, obesity and physical inactivity, between 2004 and 2015.MethodsData for this study were drawn from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement (SHARE) in Europe, which is a panel database of microdata on health, socioeconomic status and social and family networks of people aged 50 years or older, covering most of the European Union. The predicted number of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) was used to estimate the concentration index and to find the contributions of determinants to socioeconomic inequalities in chronic diseases.ResultsThe inequality disfavoured the poor in both years, but the effect was stable from 2004 (C = −0.071) to 2015 (C = −0.081). Inequality was shown to be attributed mostly to physical inactivity and obesity and this contribution increased during the study period. Among socioeconomic status (SES) determinants, education and marital status were the most concentrated in both years, while physical inactivity and obesity were the most concentrated behavioural risk factors in both years.ConclusionsTo prevent chronic diseases, health policy should aim not only to improve individual health behaviours in the population, but also to reduce socioeconomic inequality. Our study suggests promoting a healthy lifestyle in the most disadvantaged socioeconomic classes as a strategy to improve the health conditions of the whole population.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)105-110
Numero di pagine6
RivistaEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume29
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2019

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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