Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper - WHO Environmental Burden of Disease Series
Title Poverty: Assessing the distribution of health risks by socioeconomic position at national and local levels
Issue 10
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2004
URL http://www.who.int/quantifying_ehimpacts/publications/ebd10.pdf
The present guide addresses the influence of socioeconomic status on the health burden of environmental and other risk factors. It is clear that socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and individuals are often exposed to higher levels of such risk factors than their less-disadvantaged counterparts, and they bear a disproportionate share of the health burden. This guide therefore describes how to calculate the exposure associated with low socioeconomic status. This will give policy-makers an indication of the potential gains that could be achieved by reducing poverty and by targeting health services, including preventive measures, to the most disadvantaged sections of society. Unlike for the other guides of this series, an advanced knowledge in epidemiology and data analysis is required, as the proposed methods involve analysis of epidemiological literature and/or survey data.

In the guide, conceptual issues that link socioeconomic status, exposure to risk factors and health are first explained. A practical, step-by-step approach is then
used to assess the impact of socioeconomic status on risk factors and health, using numerical examples. The methods can be adapted both to local and national levels, and can be tailored to suit data availability.

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