Social differences in health in an affluent Danish county

Scand J Soc Med. 1998 Dec;26(4):289-92. doi: 10.1177/14034948980260041001.


The aim of the present study was to examine whether selected health indicators were related to the level of social conditions in the municipalities in an affluent Danish county with a tax system aiming at narrowing income differences and with the same free health facilities for all. The 18 municipalities were separated into three groups by a sum score calculated on the basis of 10 social status variables. For each of the three groups average mortality, hospital discharge rates, cancer incidence and health services use were calculated with data from National Registers. There was a distinct gradient in all-cause, infant and cause-specific mortality, cancer incidence and use of health services related to level of social conditions. Apart from the incidence of breast cancer and melanoma, and use of general practice, all the analysed health indicators were most frequent in the group of the least affluent municipalities. It is concluded that even in an affluent county, the variation in the socioeconomic characteristics of neighbouring municipalities could be related to differences in health.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Patient Discharge / statistics & numerical data
  • Registries
  • Social Class*
  • Taxes
  • Urban Health*