Examining Health Inequalities in Latvia: A Decade of Association between Socioeconomic Position and Perceived Health Status

  • Berķe-Berga A
  • Paul P
  • Valtonen H
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Abstract

The relationship between socioeconomic position (SEP) and population health is contextual. This study identifies the determinants of SEP producing health inequalities in the Latvian population. We also estimate the proportional contribution of different socioeconomic strata- (SES-) related determinants in Latvian health inequalities and measure the changes in the relative contributions of such determinants over the period 2005–2015. Using the household survey data (2005–2015), we construct a principal component analysis based SES index. A regression-based concentration index (CI) is our measure of health inequality to examine the distribution of perceived health status. Finally, we identify and estimate the contribution of predictors of health inequalities by decomposing CI with Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition. SES-related health inequalities have declined from 2005 (CI: 0.201) to 2015 (CI: 0.137) in Latvia—better-off Latvians enjoyed better perceived health during that period. The proportional contributions of education and working status have increased in 2015 compared to 2005. Although we have generated the first evidence to suggest policy relevant measures in addressing Latvian health inequalities, our decomposition method explains the extent of variation in perceived health instead of covariance between health and SEP.

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Berķe-Berga, A., Paul, P., & Valtonen, H. (2017). Examining Health Inequalities in Latvia: A Decade of Association between Socioeconomic Position and Perceived Health Status. BioMed Research International, 2017, 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7541416

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