The Portuguese Version of the European Deprivation Index: An Instrument to Study Health Inequalities

Authors

  • Ana Isabel Ribeiro EPIUNIT - Instituto de Saúde Pública. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Departamento de Epidemiologia Clínica. Medicina Preditiva e Saúde Pública. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal.
  • Alexandra Mayer Registo Oncológico Regional Sul. Lisboa. Portugal.
  • Ana Miranda Registo Oncológico Regional Sul. Lisboa. Portugal.
  • Maria de Fátima de Pina Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil. Departamento de Engenharia Cartográfica. Faculdade de Engenharia. Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil.

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.20344/amp.7387

Keywords:

Europe, Health Services Accessibility, Health Status Disparities, Portugal, Socioeconomic Factors, Surveys and Questionnaires

Abstract

Introduction: Tackling socioeconomic health inequalities is a big public health challenge and ecological deprivation indexes are essential instruments to monitor and understand them. In Portugal, no standard ecological deprivation index exists, contrasting with other countries. We aimed to describe the construction of the Portuguese version of a transnational deprivation index, European Deprivation Index.
Material and Methods: The European Deprivation Index was developed under the Townsend theorization of deprivation. Using data from the European Union - Statistics on Income and Living Conditions Survey, we obtained an indicator of individual deprivation. This indicator became the gold-standard variable, based on what we selected the variables at aggregate level (census) to be included in the European Deprivation Index, a total of eight. The European Deprivation Index was produced for the smallest area unit possible (n = 16 094, mean/area = 643 inhabitants) and resulted from the weighted sum of the previous variables. It was then classified into quintiles.
Results: The first quintile (least deprived) comprised 20.9% national population and the fifth quintile (most deprived) 18.0%. The European Deprivation Index showed a clear geographic pattern – most deprived areas concentrated in the South and in the inner North and Centre of the country, and the least deprived areas in the coastal areas of North and Centre and in the Algarve.
Discussion: The development of the European Deprivation Index was grounded on a solid theoretical framework, individual and aggregate variables, and on a longitudinal Europe-wide survey allowing its replication over the time and in any European country.
Conclusion: Hopefully, the European Deprivation Index will start being employed by those interested in better understand health inequalities not only in Portugal but across Europe.

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Author Biographies

Ana Isabel Ribeiro, EPIUNIT - Instituto de Saúde Pública. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Departamento de Epidemiologia Clínica. Medicina Preditiva e Saúde Pública. Faculdade de Medicina. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal.

Ana Isabel Ribeiro was born in Porto in 1988. In 2008, she finished a BS in Geography and in 2010 a MSc in Public Health both from the University of Porto (Portugal). Now Ana is doing a PhD in Public Health at the same university with a grant from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (SFRH/BD/82529/2011). Briefly, her PhD project aims to determine the impact of environmental factors (biophysical and socioeconomic) in old-age survival and active ageing.

She is particularly interested in socioeconomic and environmental inequalities in health and health-related behaviors especially later in life; urban health; and disaster medicine. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and spatial statistics are essential tools in her daily research.

Further information: http://ispup.up.pt/people/5359/about/

Alexandra Mayer, Registo Oncológico Regional Sul. Lisboa. Portugal.

Statistitian, Database Manager

Ana Miranda, Registo Oncológico Regional Sul. Lisboa. Portugal.

Director ROR-SUL

Maria de Fátima de Pina, Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Engenharia Biomédica. Universidade do Porto. Porto. Portugal. Instituto de Comunicação e Informação Científica e Tecnológica em Saúde. Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil. Departamento de Engenharia Cartográfica. Faculdade de Engenharia. Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro. Rio de Janeiro. Brasil.

Professor at CARTO-FEN/UERJ (Portugal)

Principal Investigator at i3s/INEB (Portugal)

 

Published

2017-01-31

How to Cite

1.
Ribeiro AI, Mayer A, Miranda A, de Pina M de F. The Portuguese Version of the European Deprivation Index: An Instrument to Study Health Inequalities. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 2017 Jan. 31 [cited 2022 Dec. 1];30(1):17-25. Available from: https://www.actamedicaportuguesa.com/revista/index.php/amp/article/view/7387

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Section

Original