Métodos de medición de las desigualdades de salud

Translated title of the contribution: Methods for measuring inequalities in health

Maria Cristina Schneider, Carlos Castillo-Salgado, Jorge Bacallao, Enrique Loyola, Oscar J. Mujica, Manuel Vidaurre, Anne Roca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


Measuring health inequalities is indispensable for progress in improving the health situation in the Region of the Americas, where the analysis of average values is no longer sufficient. Analyzing health inequalities is a fundamental tool for action that seeks greater equity in health. There are various measurement methods, with differing levels of complexity, and choosing one rather than another depends on the objective of the study. The purpose of this article is to familiarize health professionals and decision-making institutions with methodological aspects of the measurement and simple analysis of health inequalities, utilizing basic data that are regularly reported by geopolitical unit. The calculation method and the advantages and disadvantages of the following indicators are presented: the rate ratio and the rate difference, the effect index, the population attributable risk, the index of dissimilarity, the slope index of inequality and the relative index of inequality, the Gini coefficient, and the concentration index. The methods presented are applicable to measuring various types of inequalities and at different levels of analysis.

Translated title of the contributionMethods for measuring inequalities in health
Original languageSpanish
Pages (from-to)398-414
Number of pages17
JournalRevista Panamericana de Salud Publica/Pan American Journal of Public Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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