We investigate whether changes in economic inequality affect mortality in rich countries. To answer this question we use a new source of data on income inequality: tax data on the share of pretax income going to the richest 10% of the population in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US between 1903 and 2003. Although this measure is not a good proxy for inequality within the bottom half of the income distribution, it is a good proxy for changes in the top half of the distribution and for the Gini coefficient. In the absence of country and year fixed effects, the income share of the top decile is negatively related to life expectancy and positively related to infant mortality. However, in our preferred fixed-effects specification these relationships are weak, statistically insignificant, and likely to change their sign. Nor do our data suggest that changes in the income share of the richest 10% affect homicide or suicide rates.
Using the status quo method on 917 girls aged 10-17 years in 1967, mean age at menarche was computed to be 13-09 +/- 0-08 years (SD 1-10). There was no difference in mean age at menarche between girls from different social groups defined by father's or mother's occupation. The menstrual periods evoked severe discomfort in 9 per cent of the individuals. These were on an average significantly younger at menarche than the other girls. The percentage of the girls feeling discomfort during the menstrual periods as well as its intensity increased with time since menarche.
Psychosocial resources may serve as an important link to explain socioeconomic differences in health. Earlier studies have demonstrated that education, income and occupational status cannot be used interchangeably as indicators of a hypothetical latent social dimension. In the same manner, it is important to disentangle the effect of measuring different constructs of psychosocial resources. The aim of this study was therefore to analyse if associations between socioeconomic status (SES) and psychosocial resources differ depending on the measures used. A cross-sectional population-based study of a random sample (n = 1007) of middle-aged individuals (45-69 years old, 50% women) in Sweden was performed using questionnaire and register data. SES was measured as education, occupation, household income and self-rated economy. Psychosocial resources were measured as social integration, social support, mastery, self-esteem, sense of coherence (SOC) and trust. Logistic regression models were applied to analyse the relationships controlling for the effects of possible confounders. The measures of SES were low or moderately correlated to each other as were the measures of psychosocial resources. After controlling for age, sex, country of birth and employment status, household income and self-rated economy were associated with all six psychosocial resources; occupation was associated with three (social integration, self-esteem and trust) and education with two (social integration and self-esteem). Social integration and self-esteem showed a significant and graded relationship with all SES measures; trust was associated with all SES measures except education, whereas SOC and mastery were only associated with household income and self-rated economy. After controlling for other SES measures, no associations with psychosocial resources remained for education or occupation. In conclusion, associations between SES and psychosocial resources did differ depending on the measures used. The findings illustrate the importance of the choice of measure when investigating SES as well as psychosocial resources.
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The status of the labor market is of importance in the employment of alcoholic persons, but is usually neglected in medical reports. The aim of the present paper is to assess the prevalence of alcoholism among men in different occupations and classes within as well as outside of the labor force. The data were taken from a Swedish general population study, the now twice-resurveyed Lundby 1947 cohort (N = 952). Information was collected through field interviews conducted independently of the administrative recording, but was checked afterwards against documentary records. Occupation, class and employment were independent variables; alcoholism was a dependent variable. It was found that alcoholism was most prevalent among workers (11.1%), among small scale entrepreneurs (13.7%) and among groups outside of the labor force (13.9%), particularly the subgroup early retired and unemployed (29.6%). The findings suggest a relation to current crisis tendencies in the Swedish "welfare"society.