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Educational inequalities in mortality are larger at low levels of income: A register-based study on premature mortality among 2.3 million Swedes, 2006–2009
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7156-3260
2018 (English)In: SSM - Population Health, ISSN 2352-8273, Vol. 5, p. 122-128Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Education develops skills that help individuals use available material resources more efficiently. When material resources are scarce, each decision becomes comparatively more important. Education may also protect from health-related income decline, since the highly educated tend to work in occupations with lower physical demands. Educational inequalities in health may, therefore, be more pronounced at lower levels of income. The aim of this study is to assess whether the shape of the income gradient in premature mortality depends on the level of education.

Total population data on education, income and mortality was obtained by linking several Swedish registers. Income was defined as five-year average disposable household income for ages 35–64 and mortality follow-up covered the period 2006–2009. The final population comprised 2.3 million individuals, 6.2 million person-years and 14,362 deaths. Income was modeled using splines in order to allow variation in the functional form of the association across educational categories. Poisson regression with robust standard errors was used.

The curvilinear shape of the association between income and mortality was more pronounced among those with a low education. Both absolute and relative educational inequalities in premature mortality tended to be larger at low levels of income. The greatest income differences in mortality were observed for those with a low education and the smallest for the highly educated.

Education and income interact as predictors of mortality. Education is a more important factor for health when access to material resources is limited.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 5, p. 122-128
Keywords [en]
Income, Mortality, Register data, Health inequalities, Sweden
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157453DOI: 10.1016/j.ssmph.2018.05.008OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157453DiVA, id: diva2:1220842
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-19 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttps://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352827317302598?via%3Dihub

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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