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On the measurement of relative and absolute income-related health inequality

Clarke, PM; Gerdtham, Ulf LU ; Johannesson, M; Bingefors, K and Smith, L (2002) In Social Science and Medicine 55(11). p.1923-1928
Abstract
In recent work on international comparisons of income-related inequalities in health, the concentration index has been used as a measure of health inequality. A drawback of this measure is that it is sensitive to whether it is estimated with respect to health or morbidity. An alternative would be to use the generalized concentration index that is based on absolute rather than relative health differences. In this methodological paper, we explore the importance of the choice of health inequality measure by comparing the income-related inequality in health status and morbidity between Sweden and Australia. This involves estimating a concentration index and a generalized concentration index for the eight-scale health profile of the Short Form... (More)
In recent work on international comparisons of income-related inequalities in health, the concentration index has been used as a measure of health inequality. A drawback of this measure is that it is sensitive to whether it is estimated with respect to health or morbidity. An alternative would be to use the generalized concentration index that is based on absolute rather than relative health differences. In this methodological paper, we explore the importance of the choice of health inequality measure by comparing the income-related inequality in health status and morbidity between Sweden and Australia. This involves estimating a concentration index and a generalized concentration index for the eight-scale health profile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey. We then transform the scores for each scale into a measure of morbidity and show that whether the concentration index is estimated with respect to health or morbidity has an impact on the results. The ranking between the two countries is reversed for two of the eight dimensions of SF-36 and within both countries the ranking across the eight SF-36 scales is also affected. However, this change in ranking does not occur when the generalized concentration index is compared and we conclude with the implications of these results for reporting comparisons of income-related health inequality in different populations. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
health inequality, international comparisons, SF-36, Australia, Sweden
in
Social Science and Medicine
volume
55
issue
11
pages
1923 - 1928
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000179280800003
  • pmid:12406461
  • scopus:0036972832
ISSN
1873-5347
DOI
10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00321-5
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
c7fc04d5-a5de-4697-8280-855f46d06c37 (old id 892340)
date added to LUP
2008-01-18 10:06:47
date last changed
2017-09-10 03:31:38
@article{c7fc04d5-a5de-4697-8280-855f46d06c37,
  abstract     = {In recent work on international comparisons of income-related inequalities in health, the concentration index has been used as a measure of health inequality. A drawback of this measure is that it is sensitive to whether it is estimated with respect to health or morbidity. An alternative would be to use the generalized concentration index that is based on absolute rather than relative health differences. In this methodological paper, we explore the importance of the choice of health inequality measure by comparing the income-related inequality in health status and morbidity between Sweden and Australia. This involves estimating a concentration index and a generalized concentration index for the eight-scale health profile of the Short Form 36 (SF-36) health survey. We then transform the scores for each scale into a measure of morbidity and show that whether the concentration index is estimated with respect to health or morbidity has an impact on the results. The ranking between the two countries is reversed for two of the eight dimensions of SF-36 and within both countries the ranking across the eight SF-36 scales is also affected. However, this change in ranking does not occur when the generalized concentration index is compared and we conclude with the implications of these results for reporting comparisons of income-related health inequality in different populations. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Clarke, PM and Gerdtham, Ulf and Johannesson, M and Bingefors, K and Smith, L},
  issn         = {1873-5347},
  keyword      = {health inequality,international comparisons,SF-36,Australia,Sweden},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {1923--1928},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Social Science and Medicine},
  title        = {On the measurement of relative and absolute income-related health inequality},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0277-9536(01)00321-5},
  volume       = {55},
  year         = {2002},
}