Socioeconomic inequalities in health status in Korea

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Both social interest in and studies of socioeconomic inequalities in health have increased in recent years. This article presents the current state of socioeconomic inequalities in health status in Korea, based on recent research.Socioeconomic inequalities in health status have been consistently observed in Korea as well as abroad. In both men and women, from birth-sometimes evenfrom before birth-to death, inverse relationships between socioeconomic position and most indicators of healthexist. For some health indicators, such as suicide, absolute and relative inequalities have become significantly worse than in the past. Knowledge of health inequalities in small geographic areas can be useful for allocating health resources. Representative indicators of socioeconomic inequalities in health shouldundergo ongoing monitoringby the government. In addition, there is a need for research to explore the mechanisms and to evaluate the effectiveness of specific policies and intervention programs as well as to identify socioeconomic inequalities in a variety of health outcomes.Learning the status of and trends in socioeconomic inequalities in health isan essential step toward increasing awareness of these inequalities in society and promoting an integrated and systematic policy for tackling them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Korean Medical Association
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Health status disparitie
  • Socioeconomic factors
  • Socioeconomic inequalities in health


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