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Socioeconomic inequalities in drug utilization for Sweden: Evidence from linked survey and register data


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  • Nordin, Martin
  • Dackehag, Margareta
  • Gerdtham, Ulf-G.


This study analyzes the socioeconomic gradient in drug utilization. We use The Swedish Prescribed Drug Register, merged with the Survey of Living Conditions (the ULF), and the study sample consists of 8138 individuals. We find a positive education gradient (but no income gradient) in drug utilization, after controlling for health indicators. Whereas high-educated men use a larger number of drugs, high-educated women use both a larger number of drugs and more expensive drugs. For males, but not as clearly for females, we find that the education gradient is weaker for more health-related drugs but stronger for more expensive drugs. We conclude that the main reason for the education gradient in drug utilization is doctors' behaviour rather than compliance with medication and affordability of drugs.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 77 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 106-117

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:77:y:2013:i:c:p:106-117

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Keywords: Sweden; Health inequality; Healthcare; Drug utilization; Income; Education;


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