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

Author

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Lei, Xiaoyan & Yin, Nina & Zhao, Yaohui, 2012. "Socioeconomic status and chronic diseases: The case of hypertension in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 105-121.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:23:y:2012:i:1:p:105-121
    DOI: 10.1016/j.chieco.2011.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Firman Witoelar & John Strauss & Bondan Sikoki, 2009. "Socioeconomic Success and Health in Later Life Evidence from the Indonesia Family Life Survey," Working Papers 704, RAND Corporation.
    5. 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.
    6. James Smith, 2007. "Diabetes and the Rise of the SES Health Gradient," NBER Working Papers 12905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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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.
    2. Qin, Xuezheng & Pan, Jay & Liu, Gordon G., 2014. "Does participating in health insurance benefit the migrant workers in China? An empirical investigation," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 263-278.
    3. Nie, Peng & Otterbach, Steffen & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso, 2015. "Long work hours and health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 212-229.
    4. Nie, Peng & Sousa-Poza, Alfonso & Xue, Jianhong, 2016. "Fuel for life: Domestic cooking fuels and women's health in rural China?," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 08-2016, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    5. repec:eee:chieco:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:282-295 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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