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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111

Abstract

CARDONA, Doris; ACOSTA, Laura Débora  and  BERTONE, Carola Leticia. Inequities in health among Latin American and Caribbean countries (2005-2010). Gac Sanit [online]. 2013, vol.27, n.4, pp.292-297. ISSN 0213-9111.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2012.12.007.

Objective: To identify health inequalities among Latin American and Caribbean countries in recent years (2005-2010), based on the view that measurement of inequalities is the first step in identifying health inequities. Method: We performed an ecological study, whose units of analysis were 20 Latin American and Caribbean countries. These units were used to build the Inequalities in Health Index. This index summarizes, in a value ranging from 0 to 1, a set of socio-economic and health indicators, developed by international organizations. These indicators are considered as proximal and contextual determinants of health. Results: According to the index calculated, the five countries with the worst health status were Haiti, Guatemala, Bolivia, Venezuela and Honduras. In contrast, the five countries with the most favorable health status were Cuba, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico. Conclusion: Even today, there are wide health inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean. The country with the most favorable health indicators was Cuba and that with the least favorable was Haiti. We recommend systematic evaluation of health inequalities in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Inequalities in Health Index and other indices, in order to analyze actions, policies and programs to reduce inequities in this region.

Keywords : Equity; Latin America; Inequality.

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