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Increasing socio‐economic inequalities in life expectancy and QALYs in Sweden 1980–1997

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  • Kristina Burström
  • Magnus Johannesson
  • Finn Diderichsen

Abstract

The aim of this study was to estimate the change in socio‐economic differences in life expectancy and in quality‐adjusted life years (QALYs), for men and women at different ages, in Sweden 1980 to 1997. We used data from the Swedish Survey of Living Conditions (the ULF survey), which is linked to mortality data, to estimate the life expectancy in different socio‐economic groups in 1980 and 1997 (n=100 868). Health state scores were obtained by mapping responses to selected ULF survey interview questions into the generic health‐related quality of life measure EQ‐5D, using the UK EQ‐5D index tariff (n=34 447). For 20‐year‐old men the difference in life expectancy between the highest (higher non‐manual) and the lowest socio‐economic group (unskilled manual) was 2.11 years in 1980 and 3.79 years in 1997. The corresponding figures for 20‐year‐old women were 1.56 in 1980 and 2.15 in 1997. The difference in QALYs between the highest and the lowest socio‐economic group increased from 5.76 QALYs in 1980 to 7.06 QALYs in 1997 for 20‐year‐old men, and from 4.14 QALYs in 1980 to 5.66 QALYs in 1997 for 20‐year‐old women. The widening socio‐economic inequalities over time were more stable for men than for women. We conclude that our results suggest that the socio‐economic inequality in health has increased between 1980 and 1997 in Sweden. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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  • Kristina Burström & Magnus Johannesson & Finn Diderichsen, 2005. "Increasing socio‐economic inequalities in life expectancy and QALYs in Sweden 1980–1997," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(8), pages 831-850, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:hlthec:v:14:y:2005:i:8:p:831-850
    DOI: 10.1002/hec.977
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    3. Tommy Bengtsson & Martin Dribe & Jonas Helgertz, 2020. "When Did the Health Gradient Emerge? Social Class and Adult Mortality in Southern Sweden, 1813–2015," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(3), pages 953-977, June.
    4. Paolo Brunori & Alain Trannoy & Caterina Francesca Guidi, 2021. "Ranking populations in terms of inequality of health opportunity: A flexible latent type approach," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(2), pages 358-383, February.
    5. Gerdtham, Ulf-G & Lundborg, Petter & Lyttkens, Carl Hampus & Nystedt, Paul, 2012. "Do Socioeconomic Factors Really Explain Income-Related Inequalities in Health? Applying a Twin Design to Standard Decomposition Analysis," Working Papers 2012:21, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    6. Lee, Nick & Cadogan, John W., 2013. "Problems with formative and higher-order reflective variables," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 242-247.
    7. Nordin , Martin & Gerdtham , Ulf-G, 2010. "Why a positive link between age and income-related health inequality?," Working Papers 2010:12, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    8. Philip Clarke & Tom Van Ourti, 2009. "Correcting the Bias in the Concentration Index when Income is Grouped," CEPR Discussion Papers 599, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    9. Costa-Font, Joan & Hernández-Quevedo, Cristina, 2012. "Measuring inequalities in health: What do we know? What do we need to know?," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(2), pages 195-206.

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