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Social inequalities in health: Next questions and converging evidence

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  • Marmot, Michael
  • Ryff, Carol D.
  • Bumpass, Larry L.
  • Shipley, Martin
  • Marks, Nadine F.
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    Abstract

    Mortality studies show that social inequalities in health include, but are not confined to, worse health among the poor. There is a social gradient; mortality rises with decreasing socio-economic status. Three large sample studies, one British and two American, brought together for their complementarity in samples, measures, and design, all show similar social gradients for adult men and women in physical and mental morbidity and in psychological well-being. These gradients are observed both with educational and occupational status and are not explained by parents' social status or lack of an intact family during childhood. They are also not accounted for by intelligence measured in school. This suggests that indirect selection cannot account for inequalities in health. Possible mediators that link social position to physical and mental health include smoking and features of the psycho-social environment at work and outside.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 44 (1997)
    Issue (Month): 6 (March)
    Pages: 901-910

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:44:y:1997:i:6:p:901-910

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    Related research

    Keywords: health inequalities socio-economic status social causation health selection;

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    Cited by:
    1. Dustmann, Christian & Windmeijer, Frank, 2000. "Wages and the Demand for Health - A Life Cycle Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 171, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Nazmi Sari, 2009. "Physical inactivity and its impact on healthcare utilization," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(8), pages 885-901.
    3. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl & Wheatley Price, Stephen, 2005. "Debt and distress: Evaluating the psychological cost of credit," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 642-663, October.
    4. Jason M. Fletcher & Jody L. Sindelar, 2009. "Estimating Causal Effects of Early Occupational Choice on Later Health: Evidence Using the PSID," NBER Working Papers 15256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:ese:iserwp:2006-08 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. S. Balia & AM. Jones, 2004. "Mortality, Lifestyle and Socio-Economic Status," Working Paper CRENoS 200416, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. S.A. Drakopoulos & E. Lakioti & I. Theodossiou, 2011. "Childhood socioeconomic deprivation and later adulthood health," International Journal of Social Economics, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 23-38, December.
    8. Hatzenbuehler, Mark L. & McLaughlin, Katie A. & Xuan, Ziming, 2012. "Social networks and risk for depressive symptoms in a national sample of sexual minority youth," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(7), pages 1184-1191.
    9. Taylor, Mark P. & Jenkins, Stephen P. & Sacker, Amanda, 2011. "Financial capability and psychological health," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 710-723.
    10. Rainham, Daniel, 2007. "Do differences in health make a difference? A review for health policymakers," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 84(2-3), pages 123-132, December.
    11. Contoyannis, Paul & Jones, Andrew M., 2004. "Socio-economic status, health and lifestyle," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 965-995, September.
    12. Titus J. Galama & Hans van Kippersluis, 2013. "Health Inequalities through the Lens of Health Capital Theory: Issues, Solutions, and Future Directions," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 13-076/V, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. repec:ese:iserwp:2011-18 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. John, Dolly A. & de Castro, A.B. & Martin, Diane P. & Duran, Bonnie & Takeuchi, David T., 2012. "Does an immigrant health paradox exist among Asian Americans? Associations of nativity and occupational class with self-rated health and mental disorders," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(12), pages 2085-2098.
    15. Titus J. Galama & Hans van Kippersluis, 2010. "A Theory of Socioeconomic Disparities in Health over the Life Cycle," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-079/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. TCHICAYA Anastase & LORENTZ Nathalie, 2011. "Disparités sociales de mortalité au Luxembourg," CEPS/INSTEAD Working Paper Series 2011-37, CEPS/INSTEAD.

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