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Monitoring Health Inequalities in France: A Short Tool for Routine Health SUrvey to Account for LifeLong Adverse Experiences

Emmanuelle Cambois () and Florence Jusot
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Emmanuelle Cambois: INED institut national d'études démographiques

No DT30, Working Papers from IRDES institut for research and information in health economics

Abstract: Conventional health surveys focus on current health and social context but rarely address past experiences of hardship or exclusion. However, recent research shows how such experiences contribute to health status and social inequalities. In order to analyse in routine statistics the impact of lifelong adverse experiences (LAE) on various health indicators, a new set of questions on financial difficulties, housing difficulties due to financial hardship and isolation was introduced in the 2004 French National health, health care and insurance survey (ESPS 2004). Logistic regressions were used to analyze associations between LAE, current socioeconomic status (SES) (education, occupation, income) and health (self-perceived health, activity limitation, chronic morbidity), on a sample of 4308 men and women aged 35 years and older. In our population, LAE were reported by 1 person out of 5. Although more frequent in low SES groups, they concerned above 10% of the highest incomes. For both sexes, LAE are significantly linked to poor self-perceived health, diseases and activity limitations, even controlling for SES (OR>2) and even in the highest income group. This pattern remains significant for LAE experienced only during childhood. The questions successfully identified in a conventional survey people exposed to health problems in relation to past experiences. LAE contribute to the social health gradient and explain variability within social groups. These questions will be useful to monitor health inequalities, for instance by further analyzing LAE related health determinants such as risk factors, exposition and care use.

Keywords: Health inequalities; Lifelong adverse experiences; Health surveys (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2010-03, Revised 2010-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-hap and nep-hea
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (7)

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