Inequalities in health and health service use: evidence from the General Household Survey

Soc Sci Med. 1991;33(4):361-8. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90317-6.


The General Household Survey data file for 1982 was examined to identify variations in self-reported morbidity and health service use between socio-economic groups and geographical areas in Great Britain. Both acute and chronic morbidity varied with socio-economic status. Morbidity was more strongly related to housing tenure and car availability than to occupational class. A north-west to south-east gradient in sickness was observed, although morbidity was comparatively high in Wales and comparatively low in Scotland, taking mortality differences into account. The highest age-adjusted morbidity ratios were for females in multiple occupancy inner city areas. Service use rates in relation to reported sickness showed little systematic variation. There was an indication that lack of car transport was an inhibiting factor for the sick in rural areas.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Surveys*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Mortality
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology