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Monitoring Health Inequalities in France: A Short Tool for Routine Health SUrvey to Account for LifeLong Adverse Experiences

  • Emmanuelle Cambois

    ()

    (INED institut national d'études démographiques)

  • Florence Jusot

    ()

    (IRDES institut for research and information in health economics)

Conventional health surveys focus on current health and social context but rarely address past experiences of hardship or exclusion. However, recent research shows how such experiences contribute to health status and social inequalities. In order to analyse in routine statistics the impact of lifelong adverse experiences (LAE) on various health indicators, a new set of questions on financial difficulties, housing difficulties due to financial hardship and isolation was introduced in the 2004 French National health, health care and insurance survey (ESPS 2004). Logistic regressions were used to analyze associations between LAE, current socioeconomic status (SES) (education, occupation, income) and health (self-perceived health, activity limitation, chronic morbidity), on a sample of 4308 men and women aged 35 years and older. In our population, LAE were reported by 1 person out of 5. Although more frequent in low SES groups, they concerned above 10% of the highest incomes. For both sexes, LAE are significantly linked to poor self-perceived health, diseases and activity limitations, even controlling for SES (OR>2) and even in the highest income group. This pattern remains significant for LAE experienced only during childhood. The questions successfully identified in a conventional survey people exposed to health problems in relation to past experiences. LAE contribute to the social health gradient and explain variability within social groups. These questions will be useful to monitor health inequalities, for instance by further analyzing LAE related health determinants such as risk factors, exposition and care use.

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File URL: http://www.irdes.fr/EspaceAnglais/Publications/WorkingPapers/DT30MonitoringHealthInequalitiesFrance.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by IRDES institut for research and information in health economics in its series Working Papers with number DT30.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision: Mar 2010
Handle: RePEc:irh:wpaper:dt30
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  1. Trannoy, A & Tubeuf, S & Jusot, F & Devaux, M, 2008. "Inequality in Opportunities in Health in France: A first pass," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 08/24, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
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