Socioeconomic inequalities in health & health behaviours

Factors outside health care can act as potentially important determinants of health. Yet assessing the causal impact of socioeconomic determinants poses a number of methodological challenges. Overcoming these challenges is important to credibly inform decision-makers on potential entry points for policies beyond health care interventions.

There is also growing interest in monitoring the distribution of health (and health behaviours) across socioeconomic groups, rather than merely focusing on average health outcomes. This requires robust analytical measurement tools.

CHE's work in this area focuses on methods for identifying and measuring the determinants of health and health behaviour and inequalities. The work is closely aligned to our related research theme on equity in health and health care.


Research staff involved: Marc SuhrckeAndrew Mirelman (Global Health team); Richard Cookson (TEEHTA team); Andrew Jones and Nigel Rice (HEDG team).

Example publications:

  • Khan J, Trujillo A, Ahmed S, Siddiquee AT, Alam N, Mirelman A, Koehlmoos T, Niessen L, Peters D. Distribution of chronic disease mortality and deterioration in household socioeconomic status in rural Bangladesh: an analysis over a 24-year period. International Journal of Epidemiology2015;doi:10.1093/ije/dyv197.
  • L Rocco, E Fumagalli, M Suhrcke. From social capital to health–and back. Health Economics 23 (5), 586-605. Download from Wiley
  • Goryakin Y, Suhrcke M. Economic development, urbanization, technological change and overweight: what do we learn from 244 Demographic and Health Surveys? Econ Hum Biol. 2014 Jul;14:109-27. Download from Sciencedirect
  • Goryakin Y, Suhrcke M, Rocco L, Roberts B, McKee M. Social capital and self-reported general and mental health in nine Former Soviet Union countries. Health Econ Policy Law. 2014 Jan;9(1):1-24. Download from Cambridge journals
  • Goryakin Y, Suhrcke M. The prevalence and determinants of catastrophic health expenditures attributable to non-communicable diseases in low- and middle-income countries: a methodological commentary. Int J Equity Health. 2014 Nov 7;13:107. Download from BioMed Central
  • Epstein D, Jiménez-Rubio D, Smith PC, Suhrcke M. Social determinants of health: an economic perspective. Health Econ. 2009 May;18(5):495-502. Download from Wiley