Socioeconomic health inequalities in the Catalan population aged 50+ during the last economic crisis

Jeroen Spijker, Pilar Zueras

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    5 Citations (Scopus)


    OBJECTIVE: The short- and medium-term consequences of the economic crisis since 2008 has become a cause of concern for population health. The study's objective was to analyse health inequalities according to the socioeconomic profile of the Catalan population aged 50 year and older. METHODS: Cross-sectional study using data from the Catalan Health Survey (ESCA) for the periods 2006 (N=6667), 2010-12 (N=4458) y 2013-15 (N=5469). The dependent variables were self-perceived health, mental health, medication intake and sedentary lifestyle and the independent variables: labour force activity status, educational level, health care coverage, household social class and household monthly income. On each dependent variable multivariate logistic analysis was conducted using Stata 14, adjusting for the remaining socioeconomic factors and other demographic variables, and estimating the average marginal effects for each socioeconomic category in the three observation moments. RESULTS: Between 2006 and 2013-15 the difference in the probability of having less than good self-perceived health among the population with or without double health coverage reduced from 0.06 to 0.04; between the most and least educated from 0.12 to 0.08; but did not reduce between workers and non-workers. The gap according to employment status, educational levels and income in the risk of poor mental health increased between 2006 and 2010-12 from 0.08 to 0.10, from 0.10 to 0.12 and from 0.10 to 0.13, although subsequently, inequality decreased. Difference in medication intake increased by employment status (from 0.07 to 0.10) and educational level (from -0.01 to 0.03) and in sedentary lifestyles between workers and non-workers (from 0, 05 to 0.06). Socioeconomic conditions had more impact on 50-64 year olds, especially women, while social inequality declined among men. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the crisis health generally improved, while socioeconomic health inequalities remained or reduced, barring few exceptions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalRevista Espanola de Salud Publica
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2018


    • Catalonia
    • Economic recession
    • Elderly
    • Epidemiologic factors
    • Health inequalities
    • Spain


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