Income-related health inequalities in working age men and women in Australia and New Zealand
Article first published online: 4 JUN 2013
© 2013 The Authors. ANZJPH © 2013 Public Health Association of Australia
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Volume 37, Issue 3, pages 211–217, June 2013
How to Cite
Gunasekara, F. I., Carter, K. and McKenzie, S. (2013), Income-related health inequalities in working age men and women in Australia and New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 37: 211–217. doi: 10.1111/1753-6405.12061
- Issue published online: 4 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 4 JUN 2013
- Submitted: October 2012 Revision requested: January 2013 Accepted: February 2013
- health inequalities;
- Household Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey;
- New Zealand Survey of Family Income and Employment (SoFIE)
Objective : To examine income-related inequalities in health in working age men and women in Australia and New Zealand.
Methods : We used data from two longitudinal surveys, Wave 8 (2008) of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey and Wave 7 (2008/2009) of the New Zealand Survey of Family Income and Employment (SoFIE). We compared concentration indices (a measure of income-related health inequality) that examined the distribution of general and mental health-related quality of life scores (from the SF-36) across income in working age (20–65 year old) men and women. Decomposition analyses of the concentration indices were done to identify the relative contribution of various determinants to the income-related health inequality.
Results : General health (GH) scores generally decline with age, and mental health (MH) scores increase with age, in both surveys. Income-related health inequalities were present in both the HILDA and SoFIE samples, with better health in high income groups. Decomposition analyses found that income, area deprivation and being inactive in the labour force were major contributors to income-related health inequality, in both surveys, and for both health outcomes.
Conclusions and implications : Despite some baseline differences in income-related health inequalities using Australian and New Zealand surveys, we found similar modifiable determinants, which could be targeted to improve health inequalities in both countries.