The relevance of social inequalities for designing intervention programs
Despite a general reduction in mortality, the excess mortality affecting disadvantaged groups is still growing, mainly due to external causes like injuries. For many categories of non-intentional injuries, poverty is a determinant associated with a higher risk of injury, particularly among youth. This paper explores the role of population-based strategies using universal interventions to prevent injuries in order to reduce inequalities between social groups. The paper concludes that in addition to the necessary efforts to act upon the structural causes of poverty and the growing gap between rich and poor, it is also possible to work directly toward reducing inequalities in regards to injuries. For several categories of injuries, improved standards, laws and regulations concerning products, accessories, environmental measures and behavior, are most effective in reducing mortality and morbidity, especially since they include all groups and moreover the most disadvantaged. An added value is that the costs of these measures are being absorbed by society as a whole rather than on the basis of criteria discriminating for belonging to a high-risk group.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2001-09-01