Introduction Income inequality has been found to be associated, in cross-national comparisons, with several health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Recent studies suggest that in high income countries child wellbeing may depend more on income equality than on absolute national income. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between income inequality and infant mortality in the twenty-seven countries of European Union (EU). Methods: Gini coefficient (income inequality) and infant mortality rate (IMR) for the year 2004 for each country were extracted from Eurostat database and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) for the same year was extracted from Health for All-Europe database. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to analyse the relationship between GDP and Gini and infant mortality. Multivariate linear regression was used to analyse the relationship between income inequality and infant mortality after controlling for per-capita income. Results: In EU countries, IMR was negatively correlated with GDP (ρ=- 0.57, p=0.0016) and positively correlated with Gini coefficient (ρ= 0.3980, p=0.039). Multivariate linear regression showed that the coefficient for GDP (β= -0.6; P= 0.002) is still strongly associated with IMR, while Gini coefficient was unrelated to it (β=0,001; p=0.99). A scatter-plot of IMR versus GDP suggested that all the countries with a GDP over 14,000 Euro per capita have a IMR rate less than or equal to five deaths per 1000. In Italy IMR was negatively correlated with GDP and positively correlated with Gini coefficient, but correlations were not significant. When the median familiar income was included in the multivariate regression model the relation was significantly negative, indicating that the higher the income, the lower is the IMR. Conclusion Differently from other studies conducted in developed countries, our results suggest that, in EU and in Italy, IMR correlates more on economic growth than richness distribution.

Infant mortality and income inequality in Europe: an ecological study.

FRANCHINO, GIUSEPPE;DALLOLIO, LAURA;DI GREGORI, VALENTINA;PIERI, GIULIA;RAINERI, CRISTINA;STIVANELLO, ELISA;FANTINI, MARIA PIA
2010

Abstract

Introduction Income inequality has been found to be associated, in cross-national comparisons, with several health indicators such as life expectancy and infant mortality. Recent studies suggest that in high income countries child wellbeing may depend more on income equality than on absolute national income. The aim of the study was to analyse the relationship between income inequality and infant mortality in the twenty-seven countries of European Union (EU). Methods: Gini coefficient (income inequality) and infant mortality rate (IMR) for the year 2004 for each country were extracted from Eurostat database and per capita gross domestic product (GDP) for the same year was extracted from Health for All-Europe database. Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated to analyse the relationship between GDP and Gini and infant mortality. Multivariate linear regression was used to analyse the relationship between income inequality and infant mortality after controlling for per-capita income. Results: In EU countries, IMR was negatively correlated with GDP (ρ=- 0.57, p=0.0016) and positively correlated with Gini coefficient (ρ= 0.3980, p=0.039). Multivariate linear regression showed that the coefficient for GDP (β= -0.6; P= 0.002) is still strongly associated with IMR, while Gini coefficient was unrelated to it (β=0,001; p=0.99). A scatter-plot of IMR versus GDP suggested that all the countries with a GDP over 14,000 Euro per capita have a IMR rate less than or equal to five deaths per 1000. In Italy IMR was negatively correlated with GDP and positively correlated with Gini coefficient, but correlations were not significant. When the median familiar income was included in the multivariate regression model the relation was significantly negative, indicating that the higher the income, the lower is the IMR. Conclusion Differently from other studies conducted in developed countries, our results suggest that, in EU and in Italy, IMR correlates more on economic growth than richness distribution.
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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Franchino G.; Dallolio L.; Di Gregori V. ; Pieri G.; Raineri C.; Stivanello E.; Fantini M.P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/92849
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