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Revista Cubana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1561-3127Print version ISSN 0864-3466


BACALLAO GALLESTEY, Jorge. Two controversial topics in the context of health inequality measurement. Rev. cub. salud pública [online]. 2007, vol.33, n.3. ISSN 1561-3127.

This article dealt with two hot topics in the context of health inequality measurement: one is the alternative between total measurement of inequalities among all the individuals in a population or the measurement of inequalities associated to socio-economic groups and the other is the dilemma of measuring inequalities per se or inequalities depending on the total or average health level of the population. In both cases, the second option was supported. There was a critical reasoning on the recent literature published about this topic and additionally, several simple and fictional examples were created and analyzed to show, on one hand, the need of measuring inequalities related to duly selected socioeconomic groups and on the other hand, the so-called "paradox of the awkward success" that questions many of the conclusions about changes in levels of inequality, leaving the average health levels of the population on one side.

Keywords : Social inequalities in health; inequities; total measurement; conditional measurement; variation coefficient.

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