Simone Sarti, Sara Della Bella, Mario Lucchini, Mara Tognetti Bordogna

Social inequalities in health: a reflection on data and indicators currently used in literature

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Keywords: health inequalities, health indicators, biomarkers, sociology of health.

This paper is a reflection about the study of health in sociology and a review of data used in studies concerning social inequalities in health. We develop two issues that are crucial in sociological studies of health inequalities: the first concerns the theoretical framework for the study of this topic; the second focuses on the use of data source and secondary analysis. Therefore, after a short presentation of the basic concepts and theories about health inequalities, we consider the state of the art concerning the databases used for the analysis of social inequalities in health, summarizing merits and shortcomings. Finally, at the end of the paper, we present some innovations in the collection of information on individual health and some suggestions for the future data surveys in view of a more careful understanding of the phenomenon and a better efficiency in health policies.

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