Socioeconomic position and the health gradient in Cuba: dimensions and mechanisms.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:To throw light on the under-researched association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and health in Cuba, this study examined SEP gradients in health and their underlying mechanisms among urban Cuban adults aged 18-65. METHODS:By applying linear regressions to data from the 2010 National Survey on Risk Factors and Chronic Diseases, the analysis explored the SEP-health gradient along three SEP dimensions - education, occupation, and skin colour - using ten health measures: self-reported health (SRH), general and abdominal obesity, hypertension, high glucose, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, metabolic syndrome, and cumulative risk factors. Regressions also included behaviours and health-related risk perceptions (tobacco and alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, and risk-related behaviours). It thus investigated the SEP-health gradient and its underlying mechanisms via both behaviours and health-related risk perceptions. RESULTS:Once controlling for gender, age, marital status, region and provincial dummies, the analysis detected educational gradients in SRH (estimated coefficient [95% CI]: middle-level education?=?3.535 [1.329, 5.741], p?
Project description:Children of low socioeconomic position (SEP) generally have poorer diets than children of high SEP. However there is no consensus on which SEP variable is most indicative of SEP differences in children's diets. This study investigated associations between diet and various SEP indicators among children aged 9-13?years.Families (n=625) were recruited from 27 Adelaide primary schools in 2010. Children completed semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaires providing intake scores for fruit, vegetables, non-core foods, sweetened drinks, and healthy and unhealthy eating behaviours. Parents reported demographic information by telephone interview. Differences in dietary intake scores were compared across parental education, income, occupation, employment status and home postcode.Across most SEP indicators, lower SEP was associated with poorer dietary outcomes, including higher intake of non-core foods and sweetened drinks, and more unhealthy behaviours; and lower intake of fruit and vegetables, and fewer healthy behaviours. The number and type of significant SEP-diet associations differed across SEP indicators and dietary outcomes. Mother's education appeared most frequently as a predictor of children's dietary intake, and postcode was the least frequent predictor of children's dietary intake.Socioeconomic gradients in children's dietary intake varied according to the SEP indicator used, suggesting indicator-specific pathways of influence on children's dietary intake. Researchers should consider multiple indicators when defining SEP in relation to children's eating.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Poor self-rated health (SRH) is a strong predictor of premature mortality in older adults. Trajectories of poor SRH are associated with multimorbidity and unhealthy behaviours. Whether trajectories of SRH are associated with deviating physiological markers is unclear. This study identified trajectories of SRH and investigated the associations of trajectory membership with chronic diseases, health risk behaviours and physiological markers in community-dwelling older adults. STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING:Prospective general population cohort. PARTICIPANTS:Trajectories of SRH over 5 years were identified using data of 11 600 participants aged 65 years and older of the Lifelines Cohort Study. OUTCOME MEASURES:Trajectories of SRH were the main outcome. Covariates included demographics (age, gender, education), chronic diseases, health-risk behaviour (physical activity, smoking, drinking) and physiological markers (body mass index, cardiovascular function, lung function, glucose metabolism, haematological condition, endocrine function, renal function, liver function and cognitive function). RESULTS:Four stable trajectories were identified, including excellent (n=607, 6%), good (n=2111, 19%), moderate (n=7677, 65%) and poor SRH (n=1205, 10%). Being women (OR: 1.4; 95%?CI: 1.0 to 1.9), low education (OR: 2.1; 95%?CI: 1.5 to 3.0), one (OR: 10.4; 95%?CI: 7.4 to 14.7) or multiple chronic diseases (OR: 37.8; 95%?CI: 22.4 to 71.8), smoking (OR: 1.8; 95%?CI: 1.0 to 3.2), physical inactivity (OR: 3.1; 95%?CI: 1.8 to 5.2), alcohol abstinence (OR: 2.2; 95%?CI: 1.4 to 3.2) and deviating physiological markers (OR: 1.5; 95%?CI: 1.1 to 2.0) increase the odds for a higher probability of poor SRH trajectory membership compared with excellent SRH trajectory membership. CONCLUSION:SRH of community-dwelling older adults is stable over time with the majority (65%) having moderate SRH. Older adults with higher probabilities of poor SRH often have unfavourable health status.
Project description:The evaluation of the gender-specific prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors across socioeconomic position (SEP) categories may unravel mechanisms involved in the development of coronary heart disease. Using a sample of 1704 community dwellers of a Portuguese urban center aged 40 years or older, assessed in 1999-2003, we quantified the age-standardized prevalence of nine established cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking, sedentariness, abdominal obesity, poor diet, excessive alcohol intake and depression) across SEP and gender categories. Data on individual education and occupation were collected by questionnaire and used to characterize SEP. The prevalence of seven out of nine well-established risk factors was higher in men. Among women, the prevalence of most of the studied risk factors was higher in lower SEP groups. The main exception was smoking, which increased with education and occupation levels. Among men, socioeconomic gradients were less clear, but lower SEP was associated with a higher prevalence of diabetes, excessive alcohol intake and depression in a graded mode. The historical cultural beliefs and practices captured throughout the lifecourse frame the wide socioeconomic gradients discernible in our study conducted in an unequal European developed population. While men were more exposed to most risk factors, the clearer associations between SEP and risk factors among women support that their adoption of particular healthy behaviors is more dependent on material and symbolic conditions. To fully address the issue of health inequalities, interventions within the health systems should be complemented with population-based policies specifically designed to reduce socioeconomic gradients.
Project description:Background:Inequalities in the distribution of self-reported health (SRH) have been widely reported. Its higher expressivity among women, elderly and least educated groups has been partly attributed to differences in their health perceptions. However, this subjectivity may be masking the burden of mental illness in these groups. Thus, we sought to understand if depression symptoms mediate inequalities in SRH. Methods:SHARE waves 4 and 6, pertaining to Spain, Italy and Portugal, were used (n2011 = 8517, n2015 = 11 046). Inequalities in SRH were calculated, comparing the risk amongst education level, gender and age groups, adjusting for chronic diseases, functional limitations and country fixed effects. We then tested depression symptoms as mediators. Results:Depression symptoms were associated with poor SRH (odds ratio (OR)2011 = 1.379, OR2015 = 1.384, P < 0.001). Their inclusion reduced the magnitude of the association between SRH and education, annulled the statistical significance for age, and reversed the gender effect. As expected, chronic diseases and functional limitations remained significant predictors of poor SRH. Conclusions:Depression symptoms, together with chronic diseases and functional limitations, explain the poorer SRH of the least educated, female and older groups in the Southern European population. Therefore, tackling inequalities in SRH must require focusing on mental health issues, which disproportionately affect the most vulnerable groups.
Project description:The objectives of this study are to analyze the associations between educational levels and poor self-rated health (SRH) among adults in Brazil and to assess trends in the prevalence of poor self-rated health across educational groups between 1998 and 2013. Individual-level data came from the 1998, 2003 and 2008 Brazilian National Household Survey and the 2013 National Health Survey. We estimate prevalence rates of poor SRH by education. Using multivariable regressions, we assess the associations between educational levels and poor self-rated health. We use these regressions to predict the estimated ratios between the prevalence rates of those in low vs. high education in order to assess if relative changes in poor SRH have narrowed over time. Finally, we tested for statistically significant time trends in adult chronic disease inequalities by education. Results indicate a clear educational gradient in poor SRH. Prevalence ratios show that Brazilian adults with no education have levels of poor SRH that are 7 to 9 times higher than those with some college or more. The difference between those with lowest and highest education increased from 1998 to 2013. Compared to those with no education, there were increases in the prevalence of poor SRH among those with primary and secondary incomplete as well as among those with secondary complete in 2008 and 2013. In conclusion, there is a positive association between poor SRH and low education. Brazil has many social and geographic inequalities in health. Even though educational levels are increasing, there is no improvement in the general subjective health of Brazilians. Health inequalities by race and region highlight the need to improve the health of socially disadvantaged groups in Brazil. Addressing chronic conditions and mental health is needed to improve self-perceptions of health in Brazil as well.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Health-seeking behaviour lies on the direct pathway between socio-economic position (SEP) and health outcomes. The objective of this systematic review is to identify and synthesise evidence of socio-economic gradients in health-seeking behaviours related to maternal and child health in Egypt. METHODS:Four databases (Medline, Embase, Global Health and Web of Science) were searched in September 2013 for material published in English from 1992 to 2013 for a combination of terms describing health-seeking behaviours, indicators of socio-economic position and geographical limitation to Egypt. Findings of studies were described and synthesised in a narrative format as meta-analysis was not possible. FINDINGS:Among the 786 references identified, 10 articles met the inclusion criteria. Six studies examined maternal and five studies child health-seeking behaviours (one study examined both). For maternal health, three dimensions of health-seeking behaviour (receipt of any care, type of care and intensity of care) were covered by studies of ante-natal and one dimension (type of care) by analyses of delivery care. For child health, two dimensions of preventive care (coverage of and intensity of immunisation) and three dimensions of curative care (receipt of any care, type and cost of care) were analysed. CONCLUSIONS:Based on two studies of time trends in nationally-representative surveys, socio-economic inequalities in seeking care for basic preventive and curative interventions in maternal and child health appear to have narrowed. Limited evidence of gradients in intensity of maternal preventive and provider selection in child curative care showed that inequalities may have widened. In studies of more geographically and socially homogeneous samples, fewer gradients were identified. Current body of evidence contains numerous limitations and gaps and is insufficient to draw a conclusive summary of such gradients. Improved understanding of SEP gradients is crucial in designing and prioritising interventions to equitably improve maternal and child health outcomes.
Project description:Background:empirical evidence from high-income countries suggests that self-rated health (SRH) is useful as a brief and simple outcome measure in public health research. However, in many low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) there is a lack of evaluation and the cross-cultural validity of SRH remains largely untested. This study aims to explore the prevalence of SRH and its association with mortality in older adults in LMIC in order to cross-culturally validate the construct of SRH. Methods:population-based cohort studies including 16,940 persons aged ?65 years in China, India, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico in 2003. SRH was assessed by asking 'how do you rate your overall health in the past 30 days' with responses ranging from excellent to poor. Covariates included socio-demographic characteristics, use of health services and health factors. Mortality was ascertained through a screening of all respondents until 2007. Results:the prevalence of good SRH was higher in urban compared to rural sites, except in China. Men reported higher SRH than women, and depression had the largest negative impact on SRH in all sites. Without adjustment, those with poor SRH showed a 142% increase risk of dying within 4 years compared to those with moderate SRH. After adjusting for all covariates, those with poor SRH still showed a 43% increased risk. Conclusion:our findings support the use of SRH as a simple measure in survey settings to identify vulnerable groups and evaluate health interventions in resource-scares settings.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Men of low socioeconomic position (SEP) are less likely than those of higher SEP to consume fruits and vegetables, and more likely to eat processed discretionary foods. Education level is a widely used marker of SEP. Few studies have explored determinants of socioeconomic inequalities in men's eating behaviours. The present study aimed to explore intrapersonal, social and environmental factors potentially contributing to educational inequalities in men's eating behaviour. METHODS:Thirty Australian men aged 18-60 years (15 each with tertiary or non-tertiary education) from two large metropolitan sites (Melbourne, Victoria; and Newcastle, New South Wales) participated in qualitative, semi-structured, one-on-one telephone interviews about their perceptions of influences on their and other men's eating behaviours. The social ecological model informed interview question development, and data were examined using abductive thematic analysis. RESULTS:Themes equally salient across tertiary and non-tertiary educated groups included attitudes about masculinity; nutrition knowledge and awareness; 'moralising' consumption of certain foods; the influence of children on eating; availability of healthy foods; convenience; and the interplay between cost, convenience, taste and healthfulness when choosing foods. More prominent influences among tertiary educated men included using advanced cooking skills but having relatively infrequent involvement in other food-related tasks; the influence of partner/spouse support on eating; access to healthy food; and cost. More predominant influences among non-tertiary educated men included having fewer cooking skills but frequent involvement in food-related tasks; identifying that 'no-one' influenced their diet; having mobile worksites; and adhering to food budgets. CONCLUSIONS:This study identified key similarities and differences in perceived influences on eating behaviours among men with lower and higher education levels. Further research is needed to determine the extent to which such influences explain socioeconomic variations in men's dietary intakes, and to identify feasible strategies that might support healthy eating among men in different socioeconomic groups.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Although the relationship between self-rated health (SRH) and physical and mental health is well documented in developed countries, very few studies have analyzed this association in the developing world, particularly in Africa. In this study, we examine the associations of SRH with measures of physical and mental health (chronic diseases, functional limitations, and depression) among adults in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and how these associations vary by sex, age, and education level. METHODS: This study was based on 2195 individuals aged 15 years or older who participated in a cross-sectional interviewer-administered health survey conducted in 2010 in areas of the Ouagadougou Health and Demographic Surveillance System. Logistic regression models were used to analyze the associations of poor SRH with chronic diseases, functional limitations, and depression, first in the whole sample and then stratified by sex, age, and education level. RESULTS: Poor SRH was strongly correlated with chronic diseases and functional limitations, but not with depression, suggesting that in this context, physical health probably makes up most of people's perceptions of their health status. The effect of functional limitations on poor SRH increased with age, probably because the ability to circumvent or compensate for a disability diminishes with age. The effect of functional limitations was also stronger among the least educated, probably because physical integrity is more important for people who depend on it for their livelihood. In contrast, the effect of chronic diseases appeared to decrease with age. No variation by sex was observed in the associations of SRH with chronic diseases, functional limitations, or depression. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that different subpopulations delineated by age and education level weight the components of health differently in their self-rated health in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. In-depth studies are needed to understand why and how these groups do so.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The evidence linking socioeconomic environments and metabolic syndrome (MetS) has primarily been based on cross-sectional studies. This study prospectively examined the relationships between area-level socioeconomic position (SEP) and the incidence of MetS. METHODS: A prospective cohort study design was employed involving 1,877 men and women aged 18+ living in metropolitan Adelaide, Australia, all free of MetS at baseline. Area-level SEP measures, derived from Census data, included proportion of residents completing a university education, and median household weekly income. MetS, defined according to International Diabetes Federation, was ascertained after an average of 3.6 years follow up. Associations between each area-level SEP measure and incident MetS were examined by Poisson regression Generalised Estimating Equations models. Interaction between area- and individual-level SEP variables was also tested. RESULTS: A total of 156 men (18.7%) and 153 women (13.1%) developed MetS. Each percentage increase in the proportion of residents with a university education corresponded to a 2% lower risk of developing MetS (age and sex-adjusted incidence risk ratio (RR)=0.98; 95% confidence interval (CI) =0.97-0.99). This association persisted after adjustment for individual-level income, education, and health behaviours. There was no significant association between area-level income and incident MetS overall. For the high income participants, however, a one standard deviation increase in median household weekly income was associated with a 29% higher risk of developing MetS (Adjusted RR=1.29; 95%CI=1.04-1.60). CONCLUSIONS: While area-level education was independently and inversely associated with the risk of developing MetS, the association between area-level income and the MetS incidence was modified by individual-level income.