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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


DALMAU-BUENO, Albert et al. Trends in socioeconomic inequalities in mortality over a twenty-two-year period in the city of Barcelona (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2010, vol.24, n.1, pp.20-27. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objective: To analyze the trend in socioeconomic inequalities in all-cause mortality in Barcelona from 1983 to 2004. Methods: We performed an ecological study of trends over 4 cross-sections (1983-1988, 1989-1994, 1995-1999 and 2000-2004), with the basic health area (BHA) as the unit of analysis. The study population consisted of men and women aged 20 years or more living in Barcelona. The information sources were the mortality registry, the municipal census and the census of inhabitants and dwellings. The age- and sex-specific mortality rate (ASMR) for all causes was used as the dependent variable. As the independent variable, a composite index of socioeconomic deprivation of the BHA was calculated; BHAs were grouped in quartiles according to the values on the index. Poisson models were adjusted to estimate the relative risk of mortality from all causes in the 4 groups of BHA, stratified by age groups and sex. Results: In all the study periods, inequalities in mortality were found, depending on the BHA of residence, both for men and for women: the ASMR of the most deprived BHAs were greater than those of less deprived BHA, and were greater among men than among women. Likewise, relative risks in the youngest age groups were higher than in the oldest age groups. However, from the second to fourth study periods, inequalities decreased in absolute and relative terms, especially among men. Conclusions: Inequalities in mortality persist in BHA in Barcelona but have decreased over the last 2 decades. Public policies should take this information into account when tackling inequalities among BHA.

Keywords : Mortality; Ecological studies; Inequalities; Urban population.

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