Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
SILVA, Jarbas Barbosa da and BARROS, Marilisa Berti Azevedo. Epidemiology and inequality: notes on theory and history. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.12, n.6, pp.375-383. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892002001200003.
In this paper we present a historical analysis of the concept of inequality, and we also discuss how inequality has been viewed within the field of health. Natural and social inequalities are discussed, along with the concept of equity, theoretical explanations for inequality, and stratification in modern societies. Finally, we focus on the relationships between epidemiology and studies on social inequalities in health since epidemiology was established as a discipline, during the so-called bacteriological era, and at the present time, when there is a growing interest in social inequalities in health.
Keywords : Epidemiologia; história; classe social; distribuição de bens e serviços; eqüidade.