An assessment of magnitudes and patterns of socioeconomic inequalities across various health problems: A large national cross-sectional survey in Korea

Ji Yeon Shin, Jiseun Lim, Myung Ki, Yeong Jun Song, Heeran Chun, Dongjin Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Magnitudes of health inequalities present consequences of socioeconomic impact on each health problem. To provide knowledge on the size of health problems in terms of socioeconomic burden, we examined the magnitudes and patterns of health inequalities across 12 health problems. A total of 17,292 participants older than 30 years were drawn from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES, 2010–2012). The age-adjusted prevalence ratios were compared across socioeconomic positions (SEPs) based on income, education, and occupation. The magnitudes of socioeconomic inequalities varied across 12 health problems and, in general, the patterns of socioeconomic inequalities were similar among groups of health problems (i.e., non-communicable diseases (NCDs), mental health, and subjective health states). Significant health inequalities across NCDs, such as diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, and arthritis, were observed mainly in women. Socioeconomic inequalities in mental health problems, such as depression, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts, were profound for both genders and across SEP measures. Significant socioeconomic inequalities were also observed for subjective health. No or weak associations were observed for injury and HBV infection. The patterns of socioeconomic inequalities were similar among groups of health problems. Mental illnesses appeared to require prioritization of socioeconomic approaches for improvement in terms of absolute prevalence and relative socioeconomic distribution.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2868
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume15
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Dec 14

Keywords

  • Health inequalities in mental diseases
  • Health inequalities in non-communicable diseases
  • Health inequalities policy
  • Korea
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Socioeconomic inequalities in common health problems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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