Socio-economic health inequalities in Brazil: gender and age effects

Health Econ. 2002 Mar;11(2):141-54. doi: 10.1002/hec.649.


This paper analyses Brazilian socio-economic inequalities in health by measuring the concentration indices for the following variables: health expectancy, self-assessed health status and chronic health problems. Data used were taken from the 1996/1997 Living Standard Measurement Study (LSMS). In summary, as far as gender distinction is concerned, the results showed that up to 5 years of age the mortality rates, reported appearance of chronic health problems as well as the self-assessed health indicated that the boys were in worse health condition than the girls. After this age group there was a tendency for differences to disappear until adulthood, when the situation changed and the women consistently considered themselves less healthy. With reference to the socio-economic inequalities, one generally finds larger differences within the women's groups. The analysis for the different age groups indicated that the pro-rich inequalities increased with age. Both results were clearly proved, especially for the health expectancy variable, by adopting an adjustment of the dominance concept derived from literature on economic inequalities, consisting of comparing concentration curves.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease / epidemiology
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Self-Assessment
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors*