Differences in ill health and in socioeconomic inequalities in health by ethnic groups: a cross-sectional study using 2011 Scottish Census

Allik, M. , Brown, D. , Dundas, R. and Leyland, A. H. (2022) Differences in ill health and in socioeconomic inequalities in health by ethnic groups: a cross-sectional study using 2011 Scottish Census. Ethnicity and Health, 27(1), pp. 190-208. (doi: 10.1080/13557858.2019.1643009) (PMID:31313591)

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Objectives: We compare rates of ill health and socioeconomic inequalities in health by ethnic groups in Scotland by age. We focus on ethnic differences in socioeconomic inequalities in health. There is little evidence of how socioeconomic inequalities in health vary by ethnicity, especially in Scotland, where health inequalities are high compared to other European countries. Design: A cross-sectional study using the 2011 Scottish Census (population 5.3 million) was conducted. Directly standardized rates were calculated for two self-rated health outcomes (poor general health and limiting long-term illness) separately by ethnicity, age and small-area deprivation. Slope and relative indices of inequality were calculated to measure socioeconomic inequalities in health. Results: The results show that the White Scottish population tend to have worse health and higher socioeconomic inequalities in health than many other ethnic groups, while White Polish and Chinese people tend to have better health and low socioeconomic inequalities in health. These results are more salient for ages 30–44. The Pakistani population has high rates of poor health similar to the White Scottish for ages 15–44, but at ages 45 and above Pakistani people have the highest rates of poor self-rated health. Compared to other ethnicities, Pakistani people are also more likely to experience poor health in the least deprived areas, particularly at ages 45 and above. Conclusions: There are statistically significant and substantial differences in poor self-rated health and in socioeconomic inequalities in health between ethnicities. Rates of ill health vary between ethnic groups at any age. The better health of the younger minority population should not be taken as evidence of better health outcomes in later life. Since socioeconomic gradients in health vary by ethnicity, policy interventions for health improvement in Scotland that focus only on deprived areas may inadvertently exclude minority populations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Brown, Dr Denise and Leyland, Professor Alastair and Allik, Dr Mirjam and Dundas, Professor Ruth
Authors: Allik, M., Brown, D., Dundas, R., and Leyland, A. H.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:Ethnicity and Health
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1465-3419
Published Online:17 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Ethnicity and Health 27(1): 190-208
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
Data DOI:10.5525/gla.researchdata.629

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