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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ESNAOLA, Santiago et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in the Basque Country (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.1, pp.16-24. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To describe socioeconomic inequalities in mortality in the Basque Country, using mortality and socioeconomic data by census sections. Methods: Mortality and population data were obtained from the Basque Institute of Statistics. Socioeconomic characteristics of the census sections were assigned to each death and a deprivation index combining information from four socioeconomic indicators was computed. Age-adjusted mortality rates by sex, age group (0-64 ≥ 65) and cause of death were calculated for each quintile of the deprivation index. Poisson regression models were fitted to estimate age-adjusted rate ratios and excess mortality attributable to inequalities. Results: Mortality showed a gradient according to the deprivation index in men and women. Mortality was greater in the most deprived sections. Mortality inequalities were observed in men younger than 65 years. A total of 9.3% of deaths in men and 4.9% of those in women were attributable to socioeconomic inequalities. The relative importance of the cause of death differed according to the inequality measure used. Lifestyle-related causes of death were notable. Conclusion: This study illustrates the potential utility of census section socioeconomic indicators both to describe socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and to identify priorities for interventions.

Keywords : Mortality; Socioeconomic factors; Small area analysis; Census; Basque Country.

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