Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
GIRALDES, Maria do Rosário. Equity in socioeconomic sectors with an impact on health in European Union member countries. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.3, pp. 533-544. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2001000300009.
It may sometimes be more appropriate to correct inequalities in the domains of education, lifestyles, or nutrition than that of health. The current study proposes to measure existing inequalities in European Union member countries in socioeconomic areas with an impact on the population's health. The Gini coefficient was used to quantify inequalities among member countries with regard to education and cultural activities, lifestyles, nutrition, unemployment, use of health care services, and health expenditures. The indicators with the highest Gini coefficients are the percentage of the population with a secondary school education (level of schooling just preceding the university), per capita butter consumption, and per capita consumption of packaging for medications. It is cause for concern to the health sector that education displays such great inequality in the percentage of individuals enrolled in secondary education within the European Union. Existing inequality in per capita butter consumption is equally important due to the impact nutrition has on the incidence of cardiovascular and cerebral vascular diseases, for example, and the weight these diseases have on the mortality profile.
Keywords : Health Services; Social Conditions; Socioeconomic Analysis; Equity.