Measuring socioeconomic differences in use of health care services by wealth versus by income.

TitleMeasuring socioeconomic differences in use of health care services by wealth versus by income.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsAllin, S, Masseria, C, Mossialos, E
JournalAm J Public Health
Volume99
Issue10
Pagination1849-55
Date Published2009 Oct
ISSN Number1541-0048
Call Numbernewpubs20090908_Allin_etal.pdf
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Data collection, Europe, Female, Health Services, Health Services Accessibility, Health Status Disparities, Humans, Income, Male, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Pensions, Retirement, Socioeconomic factors, Statistics as Topic, United Kingdom
Abstract

<p><b>OBJECTIVES: </b>We compared the extent of socioeconomic differences in use of health care services based on wealth (i.e., accumulated assets) as the socioeconomic ranking variable with the extent of differences based on income to explore the sensitivity of the estimates of equity to the choice of the socioeconomic indicator.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>We used data from the Health and Retirement Study in the United States and the Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe to estimate levels of income- and wealth-related disparity in use of physician and dental services among adults 50 or older in 12 countries.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>We found socioeconomic differences in use of physician services after standardizing for need in about half of the countries studied. No consistent pattern in levels of disparity measured by wealth versus those measured by income was found. However, the rich were significantly more likely to use dental services in all countries. Wealth-related differences in dental service use were consistently higher than were income-related differences.</p><p><b>CONCLUSIONS: </b>We found some support for wealth as a more sensitive indicator of socioeconomic status among older adults than was income. Wealth may thus allow more accurate measurements of socioeconomic differences in use of health care services for this population.</p>

DOI10.2105/AJPH.2008.141499
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19150899?dopt=Abstract

Endnote Keywords

Health Care Utilization/socioeconomic status/Wealth/Cross Cultural Comparison/SHARE/cross-national comparison

Endnote ID

21060

Alternate JournalAm J Public Health
Citation Key7361
PubMed ID19150899
PubMed Central IDPMC2741508
Grant ListP01 AG08291 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
Y1-AG-4553-01 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG012815 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG12815 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG008291 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R21 AG025169 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG09740-13S2 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P01 AG005842 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States