[Inequalities in mortality in the Italian longitudinal studies]

Epidemiol Prev. Jul-Sep 1999;23(3):141-52.
[Article in Italian]


The article presents some of the most relevant results on inequalities in mortality, obtained by the two Italian longitudinal studies carried out in Turin, and Tuscany (in Leghorn and Florence). The two studies share the same methodology. Each database contains census data, information from population register and from death certificates. The authors approach this issue not in an analytical way (as they did in the works cited in the reference list), but answering some questions, relevant both from a scientific and a political point of view. How big are the health inequalities in Italy? Are the health inequalities in Italy increasing or decreasing? Are the health inequalities due to absolute or to relative deprivation? Does the mortality profile of the Italian population express the presence of old or new health inequalities? Can the health inequalities be reduced? The study's results prove that the health inequalities in Italy are deep and strictly related to individuals' position in the social fabric. Facing the other questions the authors focus only in the Turin data. From the 1970's to the 1990's the health inequalities in Turin have increased, despite of general improvement of population's health condition and the progressive reduction of the size of deprived groups. Turin data support both the hypotheses on the source of health inequalities, using long term unemployment as absolute deprivation's indicator, and status' inconsistency as (a row) indicator of relative deprivation. The growth of drug-related causes of death (AIDS and overdose) shows that in the Turin and--quite reasonably--Italian population old and new health inequalities live together. The essay closes offering evidence on the possibility to reduce health inequalities. For this purpose the authors analyses the Turin trend of avoidable deaths and infant and adolescent mortality.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Health Services Administration / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Population Surveillance