Special Issue "Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution"

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Chia-Feng Yen
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Public Health, Tzu Chi University, Hualien City 97004, Taiwan
Interests: health policy; health inequality of people with disability; measurement of activity and participation function; health welfare resource distribution; health promotion for people with special needs
Assoc. Prof. Shyang-Woei Lin
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, National Dong Hwa University, Shoufeng, Hualien 97401, Taiwan
Interests: geographic information systems (GIS); statistical analysis of geographic information; community hazard mapping; spatial decision support systems; public health information systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reducing inequality is one of the most important goals of the United Nations for achieving sustainable development, and promoting the health of various population groups in all regions is at its core value. According to the United Nations and UK National Health Insurance, health inequality is an unfair and avoidable difference in people's health between the general population and specific populations.

How national policies can reduce structural factors and promote health equality will be a major challenge for public health in the future. United Nations surveys have shown that in developing countries, children in the poorest 20 per cent of the population are still up to three times more likely to die before their fifth birthday than children in the richest quintiles. Social protection has been significantly extended globally, yet persons with disabilities are up to five times more likely than average to incur catastrophic health expenditures. Despite overall declines in maternal mortality in most developing countries, women in rural areas are still up to three times more likely to die while giving birth than women living in urban centers. The evidence shows that health problems reflected by regional differences have implied socio-economic status, educational level, health resources allocation, and hazardous substances distribution such as behavioral use and pollution spread, of various population groups. If we want to improve health problems through policies, we must first have accurate measurement indicators and empirical data on health inequalities. This topical collection is open to the subject area of health inequality and spatial distribution. The keywords listed below provide an outline of some of the possible areas of interest.

Prof. Chia-Feng Yen
Assoc. Prof. Shyang-Woei Lin
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Measuring health inequalities
  • Health inequalities indicators
  • Unequal health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health rights
  • Rural–urban disparity
  • Child health
  • Health of vulnerable groups
  • Spatially distribution
  • Geographic information system (GIS) and health
  • The difference between health and spatial distribution.

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Relationship of Urbanization and Performance of Activity and Participation Functioning among Adults with Developmental Disabilities in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(20), 7553; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17207553 - 17 Oct 2020
Abstract
Developmental disability is likely to be lifelong in nature and to result in substantial activity and societal participation limitations. The performance of individuals is related to the environment, supports, and urbanization of living cities. Most of the surveys for people with disabilities have [...] Read more.
Developmental disability is likely to be lifelong in nature and to result in substantial activity and societal participation limitations. The performance of individuals is related to the environment, supports, and urbanization of living cities. Most of the surveys for people with disabilities have not discussed the relationship between the cognitive impairment properties and performance of participation and activities functioning, and most cognitive impairments are regarded as having similar performance. The location of residence in childhood is mainly influenced by parents and main caregivers, but the factors related to the preferences of adults with cognitive impairment in the location of residence are more complicated. Objective(s): The aim was to explore and compare the relationships of the urbanization degree of their living cities and the functioning performance of daily living in various domains among adults with intellectual disability (ID), autism, and concomitant communicative impairment (CCI). Method: The cross-sectional study was applied, and the data was collected face-to-face by professionals in all authorized hospitals in Taiwan. The participants were 5374 adults with ID (n = 4455), autism (n = 670), CCI (n = 110) and combination disabilities (n = 139) which were according to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases 9th Revision (ICD-9) from a total of 167,069 adults with disabilities from the Disability Eligibility System (DES) in Taiwan between July 2012 and October 2013. The authors used the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule 2.0–36 item version of WHO (WHODAS 2.0-36 items) to measure performance and capability of daily living. Results and Conclusions: There were significant differences in age, gender, disabled severity, and the urbanization between all subgroups (p < 0.05). After adjusting the age of all participators, the degree of urbanization just significantly affected the functioning score distribution in domain 1: cognition for an adult with ID, autism, and CCI; in domain 2, mobility for an adult with CCI and combination disability; in domain 3, self-care; domain 4, independent domains for ID (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences between urbanization degree and functioning scores in all domains for adults with autism. All in all, only in groups with combination disability did we find that the worse the degree of impairment was, the lower the degree of urbanization of their place of residence was, and there was no such phenomenon in adults with autism and ID in our study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution)
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Open AccessArticle
The Association between Noise Exposure and Metabolic Syndrome: A Longitudinal Cohort Study in Taiwan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4236; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124236 - 14 Jun 2020
Abstract
Metabolic syndrome is becoming more common worldwide. Studies suggest environmental pollution, including traffic noise, might be linked with metabolic syndrome. This study sought to evaluate how noise exposure is linked to the development of metabolic syndrome and its components in Taiwan. Using data [...] Read more.
Metabolic syndrome is becoming more common worldwide. Studies suggest environmental pollution, including traffic noise, might be linked with metabolic syndrome. This study sought to evaluate how noise exposure is linked to the development of metabolic syndrome and its components in Taiwan. Using data from a cohort of 42,509 participants and Cox proportional hazards regression models, the effects of noise exposure on metabolic syndrome and its components were quantified. After adjustment for covariates (age, gender, body mass index, and physical activity), the hazard ratio for metabolic syndrome was 1.13 (95% CI: 1.04–1.22) for medium noise exposure and 1.24 (95% CI: 1.13–1.36) for high noise exposure. Noise exposure was also positively associated with all of metabolic syndrome’s components. This finding suggests noise exposure might contribute to metabolic syndrome and its components. Policies aiming to reduce noise pollution might reduce the risks of metabolic syndrome and its components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution)
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Open AccessArticle
Gender Inequalities in Health and Their Effect on the Economic Prosperity Represented by the GDP of Selected Developed Countries—Empirical Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(10), 3555; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17103555 - 19 May 2020
Abstract
The objective is to evaluate the relations between gender health inequalities and economic prosperity in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The groups included health indicators in the specification of men, women and gender inequalities: life expectancy, causes of mortality [...] Read more.
The objective is to evaluate the relations between gender health inequalities and economic prosperity in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. The groups included health indicators in the specification of men, women and gender inequalities: life expectancy, causes of mortality and avoidable mortality. The variable determining the economic prosperity was represented by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The analytical processing included descriptive analysis, analysis of differences and analysis of relationships. The regression analysis was presented as the main output of the research. Most of the significant gender differences in health showed a more positive outcome for women. It is possible to identify a certain relation between gender health inequalities and economic prosperity. If there is some reduction in gender inequalities in health, the economic prosperity will increase. The reduction seems to be more effective on the part of men than women. The output of the cluster analysis showed the relations of indicators evaluating the inequalities and the prosperity. The countries such as Luxembourg, Norway or Switzerland showed very positive outputs, on the other hand, the countries with a potential for the improvement are Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia. Overall, the policies should focus on reducing the inequalities in avoidable mortality as well as reducing the frequent diseases in younger people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution)
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Open AccessArticle
Association between Cardiovascular Mortality and Economic Development: A Spatio-Temporal Study for Prefectures in Japan
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(4), 1311; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17041311 - 18 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In this paper, we use a bivariate choropleth map to investigate the relationship between mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, by sex, in Japanese prefectures from 1996 to 2015. The overall results show a decline in age-standardized [...] Read more.
In this paper, we use a bivariate choropleth map to investigate the relationship between mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) and gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, by sex, in Japanese prefectures from 1996 to 2015. The overall results show a decline in age-standardized CVD mortality rates in all prefectures, for both men and women, and suggest that GDP per capita has varied over the period. We also observed that the relationship between CVD mortality rates and GDP per capita at the prefecture level does not have an overall pattern of the same or inverse association, but is instead a heterogeneous relationship. We argue that this study provides useful clues to policy makers for establishing effective measures for public health planning and the prevention of deaths from CVD. As demonstrated by this study, mapping of the CVD burden in Japan helps to clarify regional differences in life expectancy and health status across regions and identify prefectures where more targeted policy attention may be needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution)
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Open AccessArticle
Measuring Health Vulnerability: An Interdisciplinary Indicator Applied to Mainland Portugal
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214121 - 25 Oct 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Health promotion and inequality reduction are specific goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which are interconnected with several dimensions of life. This work proposes a composite index SEHVI—socioeconomic health vulnerability index—to address Portuguese population socioeconomic determinants that affect health outcomes. Variables [...] Read more.
Health promotion and inequality reduction are specific goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda, which are interconnected with several dimensions of life. This work proposes a composite index SEHVI—socioeconomic health vulnerability index—to address Portuguese population socioeconomic determinants that affect health outcomes. Variables composing SEHVI are aligned with the sustainable development goals considering data and times series availability to enable progress monitoring, and variables adequacy to translate populations’ life conditions affecting health outcomes. Data for 35 variables and three periods were collected from official national databases. All variables are part of one of the groups: Health determinants (social, economic, cultural, and environmental factors) and health outcomes (mortality indicators). Variables were standardized and normalized by “Distance to a reference” method and then aggregated into the SEHVI formula. Several statistical procedures for validation of SEHVI revealed the internal consistency of the index. For all municipalities, SEHVI was calculated and cartographically represented. Results were analyzed by statistical tests and compared for three years and territory typologies. SEHVI differences were found as a function of population density, suggesting inequalities of communities’ life conditions and in vulnerability to health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Inequality and Spatially Distribution)
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