Revista de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 0124-0064
SCHMALBACH, Javier H. Eslava and GUTIERREZ, Giancarlo Buitrago. Two indicators for measuring the gap between health and economics in the countries. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2004, vol.6, n.2, pp. 183-198. ISSN 0124-0064. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0124-00642004000200005.
OBJECTIVE: Development of two indicators to assess, in a graphical and numerical way, the gap economy and health gaps within a country. METHODS: Ecologic study with data from 71 countries worldwide. Representative indicators from both health and economics were selected through an expert consensus. In order to simplify the variables that compose the model, an analysis of the main factors was carried out (varimax rotation). The difference of percentage index was estimated for each indicator, and the economic (IBE) and health gaps (IBS) were calculated from the sum of the particular areas of these indexes over a Cartesian plane. A graphic Cartesian model was constructed for each of the gaps. An analysis of Spearman correlation between IBE and IBS with the Human Development Index (HDI), the Poverty Index (HPI) and the Gini coefficient (GINI) were made. RESULTS: IBS and IBE were negatively correlated with HDI (rho=-0,8974 and rho=-0,8599, respectively) and positively with HPI (rho=-0,8367 and rho=0,9196, respectively) and GINI (rho=0,5065 for IBS). IBE did not correlate with GINI ( rho=0,2698). CONCLUSIONS: The IBS and IBE indexes designed to measure the gaps in health and economy allow a graphical knowledge of the index that affects mostly the health and the economy of each country. Additionally, thanks to their constructs, they could be useful to detect small year to year variations in the gap, but this should be subject to a validation process to be carried out in the future.
Keywords : Health status; economic conditions; developing countries; developed countries.