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Absolute and Relative Socioeconomic Health Inequalities across Age Groups.

van Zon SK, Bültmann U, Mendes de Leon CF, Reijneveld SA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Socioeconomic position was measured as educational level and household income.Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed cross-sectionally across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender.Researchers should critically consider the implications of choosing a specific age group, in addition to the indicator of socioeconomic position and health outcome, as findings on socioeconomic health inequalities may differ between them.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Sciences, Community & Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9700 AD, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

Background: The magnitude of socioeconomic health inequalities differs across age groups. It is less clear whether socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by other factors that are known to affect the relation between socioeconomic position and health, like the indicator of socioeconomic position, the health outcome, gender, and as to whether socioeconomic health inequalities are measured in absolute or in relative terms. The aim is to investigate whether absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender.

Methods: The study sample was derived from the baseline measurement of the LifeLines Cohort Study and consisted of 95,432 participants. Socioeconomic position was measured as educational level and household income. Physical and mental health were measured with the RAND-36. Age concerned eleven 5-years age groups. Absolute inequalities were examined by comparing means. Relative inequalities were examined by comparing Gini-coefficients. Analyses were performed for both health outcomes by both educational level and household income. Analyses were performed for all age groups, and stratified by gender.

Results: Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome, and gender. Absolute inequalities were most pronounced for mental health by household income. They were larger in younger than older age groups. Relative inequalities were most pronounced for physical health by educational level. Gini-coefficients were largest in young age groups and smallest in older age groups.

Conclusions: Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed cross-sectionally across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender. Researchers should critically consider the implications of choosing a specific age group, in addition to the indicator of socioeconomic position and health outcome, as findings on socioeconomic health inequalities may differ between them.

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Relative inequalities in physical and mental health across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position and gender.
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pone.0145947.g004: Relative inequalities in physical and mental health across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position and gender.

Mentions: Relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed across age groups by indicator of SEP, health outcome and gender (Fig 4 and S1A–S1J Table). For example, in 40–44 year old males, the Gini-coefficient for physical health, with educational level as indicator of SEP, was 0.18 while the Gini-coefficient was 0.06 in 70–74 year old males (Fig 3A). This means that poor physical health (PCS <50) was more unequally distributed among socioeconomic groups in 40–44 year old males than in 70–74 year old males. Physical health inequalities by educational level tended to be smaller in older compared to younger age groups, although inequalities were somewhat larger in those aged ≥70 compared to those aged 65–69 (Fig 4A). Inequalities were larger for males than females. Mental health inequalities by educational level were smaller in those aged 30–64 years (range Gini-coefficients: males: 0.04–0.08; females: 0.03–0.08) than in those aged ≥65 years (range Gini-coefficients: males: 0.09–0.14; females: 0.08–0.14) (Fig 4B).


Absolute and Relative Socioeconomic Health Inequalities across Age Groups.

van Zon SK, Bültmann U, Mendes de Leon CF, Reijneveld SA - PLoS ONE (2015)

Relative inequalities in physical and mental health across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position and gender.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4696790&req=5

pone.0145947.g004: Relative inequalities in physical and mental health across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position and gender.
Mentions: Relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed across age groups by indicator of SEP, health outcome and gender (Fig 4 and S1A–S1J Table). For example, in 40–44 year old males, the Gini-coefficient for physical health, with educational level as indicator of SEP, was 0.18 while the Gini-coefficient was 0.06 in 70–74 year old males (Fig 3A). This means that poor physical health (PCS <50) was more unequally distributed among socioeconomic groups in 40–44 year old males than in 70–74 year old males. Physical health inequalities by educational level tended to be smaller in older compared to younger age groups, although inequalities were somewhat larger in those aged ≥70 compared to those aged 65–69 (Fig 4A). Inequalities were larger for males than females. Mental health inequalities by educational level were smaller in those aged 30–64 years (range Gini-coefficients: males: 0.04–0.08; females: 0.03–0.08) than in those aged ≥65 years (range Gini-coefficients: males: 0.09–0.14; females: 0.08–0.14) (Fig 4B).

Bottom Line: Socioeconomic position was measured as educational level and household income.Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed cross-sectionally across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender.Researchers should critically consider the implications of choosing a specific age group, in addition to the indicator of socioeconomic position and health outcome, as findings on socioeconomic health inequalities may differ between them.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Health Sciences, Community & Occupational Medicine, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Antonius Deusinglaan 1, 9700 AD, Groningen, The Netherlands.

ABSTRACT

Background: The magnitude of socioeconomic health inequalities differs across age groups. It is less clear whether socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by other factors that are known to affect the relation between socioeconomic position and health, like the indicator of socioeconomic position, the health outcome, gender, and as to whether socioeconomic health inequalities are measured in absolute or in relative terms. The aim is to investigate whether absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differ across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender.

Methods: The study sample was derived from the baseline measurement of the LifeLines Cohort Study and consisted of 95,432 participants. Socioeconomic position was measured as educational level and household income. Physical and mental health were measured with the RAND-36. Age concerned eleven 5-years age groups. Absolute inequalities were examined by comparing means. Relative inequalities were examined by comparing Gini-coefficients. Analyses were performed for both health outcomes by both educational level and household income. Analyses were performed for all age groups, and stratified by gender.

Results: Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome, and gender. Absolute inequalities were most pronounced for mental health by household income. They were larger in younger than older age groups. Relative inequalities were most pronounced for physical health by educational level. Gini-coefficients were largest in young age groups and smallest in older age groups.

Conclusions: Absolute and relative socioeconomic health inequalities differed cross-sectionally across age groups by indicator of socioeconomic position, health outcome and gender. Researchers should critically consider the implications of choosing a specific age group, in addition to the indicator of socioeconomic position and health outcome, as findings on socioeconomic health inequalities may differ between them.

Show MeSH