Regional indices of socio-economic and health inequalities: a tool for public health programming


Public health
Socio-Economic Status
Socio-Economic Indices
Inequalities in health
Health care resources



OBJECTIVES. The aim was to provide an affordable method for computing socio-economic deprivation indices at regional level, to reveal the specific aspects of the relationship between socio-economic (SE) inequalities and health outcomes. The Umbria region Socio-Health Index (USHI) was computed and compared to the Italian National Deprivation Index at Umbria region level (NDI-U).

METHODS. The USHI was computed by applying factor analysis to census tract SE variables correlated to the general mortality and validated in comparison with the NDI-U.

RESULTS. Overall mortality presented linear positive USHI trends, while trends for NDI-U resulted non-linear or not-significant. Similar and relevant results were obtained for specific causes of death by deprivation groups, gender and age.

CONCLUSIONS. The USHI better describes a local population by SE health-related status. Therefore, policy makers could adopt this method to obtain a better picture of SE-associated health conditions in regional population and target strategies for reducing inequalities in health.


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