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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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Health divides

Health divides

(p.251) 19 Health divides
Data in Society


Policy Press

This chapter highlights some of the challenges associated with the framing and measurement of unjust and preventable differences in health. Some of these are statistical challenges, such as the need for sufficiently large samples to capture the experiences of small groups of interest in the population, and the need to appreciate the strengths and limitations of different ways of measuring outcomes between groups. Other challenges relate to how the measures and language used can impact on the communities or groups of people whose health is being described, or how the framing of analyses can shape the responses proposed to address health inequalities. It presents selected statistics illustrating inequalities in physical health outcomes and risks at three broad life stages: infancy and childhood, adolescence, and middle to later life. It mainly presents socio-economic inequalities, largely due to data gaps for other important measures. The implications of these gaps, and potential ways to address them, are considered.

Keywords:   Inequality, health, measurement, life expectancy, lifespan

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