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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

BENACH, Joan  and  AMABLE, Marcelo. Social classes and poverty. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, suppl.1, pp. 16-23. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0213-91112004000700005.

Social classes and poverty are two key social determinants fundamental to understand how disease and health inequalities are produced. During the 90's in Spain there has been a notable oscillation in the inequality and poverty levels, with an increase in the middle of the decade when new forms of social exclusion, high levels of unemployment and great difficulties in accessing the labour market, especially for those workers with less resources, emerged. Today society is still characterized by a clear social stratification and the existence of social classes with a predominance of high levels of unemployment and precarious jobs, and where poverty is an endemic social problem much worse than the EU average. To diminish health inequalities and to improve the quality of life will depend very much on the reduction of the poverty levels and the improvement of equal opportunities and quality of employment. To increase understanding of how social class and poverty affect public health, there is a need to improve the quality of both information and research, and furthermore planners and political decision makers must take into account those determinants when undertaking disease prevention and health promotion.

Keywords : Social classes; Poverty; Inequalities.

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