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Socioeconomic status and chronic diseases: The case of hypertension in China

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  • Lei, Xiaoyan
  • Yin, Nina
  • Zhao, Yaohui
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    Abstract

    China has undergone a rapid epidemiological transition from infectious to chronic diseases, a process characterized by widespread under-diagnosis of chronic diseases and low rates of treatment and control. This paper uses hypertension as an example and documents the association of socioeconomic status with various measures of this condition, i.e., prevalence, awareness, treatment and control. We find no wealth and education gradients in the prevalence of hypertension. Given education, wealth plays some roles in improving the treatment and control of hypertension. Some associations exist between education and diagnosis/treatment/control in urban areas but not in rural areas. We also find that the public health care services in China contribute little in informing patients of their hypertension status, suggesting that how to improve the effectiveness of the health care system in dealing with emerging chronic illnesses should be policy priority.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal China Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 23 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 105-121

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:1:p:105-121

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/chieco

    Related research

    Keywords: Socioeconomic status; Chronic diseases; Hypertension; Under-diagnosis;

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    References

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    1. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2009. "Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 540-552, May.
    2. Karen Eggleston & Li Ling & Meng Qingyue & Magnus Lindelow & Adam Wagstaff, 2008. "Health service delivery in China: a literature review," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(2), pages 149-165.
    3. Colin Bell, A. & Adair, Linda S. & Popkin, Barry M., 2004. "Understanding the role of mediating risk factors and proxy effects in the association between socio-economic status and untreated hypertension," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 275-283, July.
    4. Liu, Gordon G. & Dow, William H. & Fu, Alex Z. & Akin, John & Lance, Peter, 2008. "Income productivity in China: On the role of health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 27-44, January.
    5. James Smith, 2007. "Diabetes and the Rise of the SES Health Gradient," NBER Working Papers 12905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Firman Witoelar & John Strauss, 2009. "Socioeconomic Success and Health in Later Life: Evidence from the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Working Papers 704, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
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    Cited by:
    1. PAN, Jay & QIN, Xuezheng & LIU, Gordon G., 2013. "The impact of body size on urban employment: Evidence from China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 249-263.

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