Socio-economic inequalities in health in western Europe
From description to explanation to intervention
During the last two decades, socio-economic inequalities in health have increasingly been recognized as an important public health issue throughout Western Europe. A search for evidence-based strategies to reduce these inequalities has begun. This chapter reviews recent European experiences in this area. It begins with a brief overview of the size and pattern of socio-economic inequalities in health in western Europe. It then reviews national policy developments, including various innovative approaches and comprehensive blueprints for tackling health inequalities that have been proposed. Finally, it discusses the types of evidence needed to underpin policies to tackle socio-economic inequalities in health. These requirements are illustrated with an analysis of some of the new findings on explanation of health inequalities as reported in this volume.
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