Browsing by Subject "EDUCATIONAL-LEVEL"

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  • Hu, Yannan; van Lenthe, Frank J.; Judge, Ken; Lahelma, Eero; Costa, Giuseppe; de Gelder, Rianne; Mackenbach, Johan P. (2016)
    Background: Between 1997 and 2010, the English government pursued an ambitious programme to reduce health inequalities, the explicit and sustained commitment of which was historically and internationally unique. Previous evaluations have produced mixed results. None of these evaluations have, however, compared the trends in health inequalities within England with those in other European countries. We carried out an innovative analysis to assess whether changes in trends in health inequalities observed in England after the implementation of its programme, have been more favourable than those in other countries without such a programme. Methods: Data were obtained from nationally representative surveys carried out in England, Finland, the Netherlands and Italy for years around 1990, 2000 and 2010. A modified difference-in-difference approach was used to assess whether trends in health inequalities in 2000-2010 were more favourable as compared to the period 1990-2000 in England, and the changes in trends in inequalities after 2000 in England were then compared to those in the three comparison countries. Health outcomes were self-assessed health, long-standing health problems, smoking status and obesity. Education was used as indicator of socioeconomic position. Results: After the implementation of the English strategy, more favourable trends in some health indicators were observed among low-educated people, but trends in health inequalities in 2000-2010 in England were not more favourable than those observed in the period 1990-2000. For most health indicators, changes in trends of health inequalities after 2000 in England were also not significantly different from those seen in the other countries. Conclusions: In this rigorous analysis comparing trends in health inequalities in England both over time and between countries, we could not detect a favourable effect of the English strategy. Our analysis illustrates the usefulness of a modified difference-in-difference approach for assessing the impact of policies on population-level health inequalities.
  • Barclay, Kieron; Keenan, Katherine; Grundy, Emily; Kolk, Martin; Myrskyla, Mikko (2016)
    A growing body of evidence suggests that reproductive history influences post-reproductive mortality. A potential explanation for this association is confounding by socioeconomic status in the family of origin, as socioeconomic status is related to both fertility behaviours and to long-term health. We examine the relationship between age at first birth, completed parity, and post-reproductive mortality and address the potential confounding role of family of origin. We use Swedish population register data for men and women born 1932-1960, and examine both all-cause and cause-specific mortality. The contributions of our study are the use of a sibling comparison design that minimizes residual confounding from shared family background characteristics and assessment of cause-specific mortality that can shed light on the mechanisms linking reproductive history to mortality. Our results were entirely consistent with previous research on this topic, with teenage first time parents having higher mortality, and the relationship between parity and mortality following a U-shaped pattern where childless men and women and those with five or more children had the highest mortality. These results indicate that selection into specific fertility behaviours based upon socioeconomic status and experiences within the family of origin does not explain the relationship between reproductive history and post-reproductive mortality. Additional analyses where we adjust for other lifecourse factors such as educational attainment, attained socioeconomic status, and post-reproductive marital history do not change the results. Our results add an important new level of robustness to the findings on reproductive history and mortality by showing that the association is robust to confounding by factors shared by siblings. However it is still uncertain whether reproductive history causally influences health, or whether other confounding factors such as childhood health or risk-taking propensity could explain the association. (C) 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.