Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Health inequalities are a growing problem worldwide

30.11.2006
Global health inequalities are substantial, growing, and influenced by economic, social and health-sector variables as well as geography, a study concludes in the November issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

“Particularly disturbing findings from this study are that countries with high mortality in young children are making slow progress, gaps in adult mortality are becoming wider, and countries with the highest adult mortality have reversed their trend from mortality reduction,” said lead author Jennifer Prah Ruger, assistant professor of public health in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale School of Medicine.

This is the first systematic study of global inequalities in adult and child mortality to identify three distinct mortality groups—better off, worse-off and mid-level—using cluster analysis methods to reveal new associations and structure in data, and examine the underlying risk factors associated with inequality in mortality. “Unlike previous studies, this research focuses on gaps in health inequalities between countries,” Ruger said.

The probability that a child will die before age five and an adult will die at an early age are disproportionately higher throughout sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan than in countries in any other geographic region, according to the study. The authors report that these countries have lower average incomes, more extreme poverty, higher inflation and less trade. They also have lower levels of investment in human and physical resources, more health risk factors and less effective disease prevention, and worse educational outcomes.

Ruger and co-author Hak Ju Kim, from the Department of Social Welfare, Gyeongsang National University, Jinju, South Korea, found that these countries have a four-fold higher percentage of people living on less than $1 per day; more than double the female illiteracy rate, less than one-sixth the gross national income in international dollars; and one-fifth the outpatient visits, hospital beds, and physicians as their low-mortality counterparts. The study also showed an even greater gap in total per capita expenditure on health care: a 20-fold difference in spending between countries with low and high adult mortality and a 50-fold difference in spending between countries with low and high under five-year old mortality.

“The AIDS epidemic is likely driving some of the gap in adult mortality,” said Ruger. “We found that countries with high adult mortality rates had roughly 35 times the prevalence of HIV infection than the lowest mortality countries.”

Ruger and Kim analyzed data from the World Development Indicators 2003 database over the past five decades, compiled by the World Bank. They emphasize that results from this study are particularly relevant for directing global health policy and multinational organizations like the World Bank, which work in multiple policy domains affecting health inequalities.

In an accompanying article, Ruger, who is also an assistant adjunct professor at Yale Law School, examines the ethical challenges posed by such inequalities for the global health community—why such inequalities are morally troubling and efforts to reduce them are morally justified, and how much priority disadvantaged groups should receive. Ruger asserts that ethical commitments are required for social organization and action for redistribution of resources, legislation and policy, public regulation and oversight, and the creation of public goods.

Ruger argues for shared health governance in correcting global health inequalities and places responsibility on state and international governments and institutions, along with non-governmental organizations, businesses, communities, families and individuals.

“Individual nation-states must assume a prior and direct role of responsibility,” Ruger said. “Ethical principles have the power to motivate and hold global and national actors accountable for achieving common goals.”

Karen N. Peart | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.yale.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT

nachricht Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>