Decomposition of Health Inequality Determinants in Shiraz, South-west Iran

Vajihe Ramezani Doroh, Sajad Vahedi, Masoud Arefnezhad, Zahra Kavosi, Abolfazl Mohammadbeigi


Background: Despite the enhancement in health outcomes worldwide, health inequity and inequality is one of the most relevant topics both for health policy and public health. This research was designed to decompose the health inequality of people living in Shiraz, south-west Iran.

Methods: Data were obtained from a multistage-sample survey conducted in Shiraz from April to May 2012, to find determinants of health related quality of life (HRQoL). General health (GH) and mental health (MH) were used as health status. As a measure of socioeconomic inequality, a concentration index of GH and MH was used and decomposed into its determinants.

Results: The overall concentration indices of MH and GH in Shiraz were 0.023 (95% CI: 0.015, 0.031) and 0.016 (95% CI: 0.009, 0.022), respectively. Decomposition of the concentration indices indicated that income made the largest contribution (39.92% for GH and 39.82% for MH) to income-related health inequality. Education (about 25% for GH and 34% for MH), insurance (about 14% for GH and 11% for MH), and occupation (about 12% for GH and 11% for MH) also proved important contributors to the health inequality in Shiraz.

Conclusions: There exist MH and GH inequalities in Shiraz. Apart from insurance, most of the health inequalities in Shiraz can be explained through factors beyond the health sector. Hence, implementing redistributive policies and education expansion programs as well as providing an insurance scheme and secure career conditions could decrease these unethical health inequalities.


Health inequality; Concentration index; Decomposition; Iran

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