Long-term trends of inequalities in mortality in 6 European countries
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionInternational Journal of Public Health. 2016, . 10.1007/s00038-016-0922-9
Objectives We aimed to assess whether trends in inequalities in mortality during the period 1970–2010 differed between Finland, Norway, England and Wales, France, Italy (Turin) and Hungary. Methods Total and cause-specific mortality data by educational level and, if available, occupational class were collected and harmonized. Both relative and absolute measures of inequality in mortality were calculated. Results In all countries except Hungary, all-cause mortality declined strongly over time in all socioeconomic groups. Relative inequalities in all-cause mortality generally increased, but more so in Hungary and Norway than elsewhere. Absolute inequalities often narrowed, but went up in Hungary and Norway. As a result of these trends, Hungary (where inequalities in mortality where almost absent in the 1970s) and Norway (where inequalities in the 1970s were among the smallest of the six countries in this study) now have larger inequalities in mortality than the other four countries. Conclusions While some countries have experienced dramatic setbacks, others have made substantial progress in reducing inequalities in mortality.