What is the meaning of health inequality?

What is the meaning of health inequality?

Health inequalities are the unjust and avoidable differences in people’s health across the population and between specific population groups. Health inequalities go against the principles of social justice because they are avoidable. They do not occur randomly or by chance.

What is the meaning of social inequality in health?

A definition used in a prominent WHO report from 1990 stated that health inequalities can be defined as: ‘Social inequities in health are systematic differences in health status between different socio-economic groups. These inequities are socially produced (and therefore modifiable) and unfair.

How does income inequality affect health?

In summary, places with higher income inequality tend to have lower average life expectancy. Because places with higher income inequality often have higher poverty rates or lower average incomes, the bivariate correlation partly reflects the concave shape of the relationship between individual income and health.

What are the inequalities in society?

Areas of social inequality include access to voting rights, freedom of speech and assembly, the extent of property rights and access to education, health care, quality housing, traveling, transportation, vacationing and other social goods and services.

Why does health inequality happen?

The second, and more fundamental root cause of health inequity, is the unequal allocation of power and resources—including goods, services, and societal attention—which manifest in unequal social, economic, and environmental conditions, also called the social determinants of health. Box 3-1 includes the definitions of …

What factors contribute to health inequalities?

They include income, education, access to green space and healthy food, the work people do and the homes they live in. It is widely recognised that, taken together, these factors are the principal drivers of how healthy people are, and that inequalities in these factors are a fundamental cause of health inequalities.

What is the relationship between social inequality and health?

Increasing evidence from scientists the world over indicates that many health outcomes — everything from life expectancy to infant mortality and obesity — can be linked to the level of economic inequality within a given population. Greater economic inequality appears to lead to worse health outcomes.

What are 3 effects of income inequality?

Effects of income inequality, researchers have found, include higher rates of health and social problems, and lower rates of social goods, a lower population-wide satisfaction and happiness and even a lower level of economic growth when human capital is neglected for high-end consumption.

Why is income inequality a problem in the US?

Income and wealth inequality is higher in the United States than in almost any other developed country, and it is rising. There are large wealth and income gaps across racial groups, which many experts attribute to the country’s legacy of slavery and racist economic policies.

Why are health inequalities unfair?

Health inequalities are unfair and avoidable differences in health across the population, and between different groups within society. Health inequalities arise because of the conditions in which we are born, grow, live, work and age. Protected characteristics: e.g. age, sex, race, sexual orientation, disability.

How is health inequality related to income inequality?

Health inequality persists today, though our public health response—our modern Metropolitan Health Laws—must address more insidious causes and conditions of illness. There is a robust literature linking income inequality to health disparities —and thus widening income inequality is cause for concern.

Why do we need to pay attention to income inequality?

Two arguments favor paying attention to income and wealth distributions as part of advancing health equity. First, health care spending—the realm of medical professionals—can worsen income inequality, at both individual and systemic levels.

What are the different types of health inequities?

Health inequities are systematic differences in health outcomes. Health inequities are differences in health status or in the distribution of health resources between different population groups, arising from the social conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.

How are health inequalities experienced in the UK?

For example, groups with particular protected characteristics can experience health inequalities over and above the general and pervasive relationship between socio-economic status and health. This explainer provides an overview of how health inequalities are experienced in England’s population.