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Unpacking the Socioeconomic Health Gradient

The objective of this research was to gain a better understanding of
intra-metropolitan health gradients and the relative importance of
place-based factors (both economic and non-economic) on health status.
The research was conducted over two years, and consisted of three
interrelated projects.

The first project sought to identify patterns of health, disability,
and mortality by income gradients within metropolitan areas in Canada.
The second project examined the role of neighbourhood income in
accounting for patterns of health in urban Canada and the independent
effects of a broader set of social and economic neighbourhood
characteristics.  The third project examined individual health
status in relation to the kind of income that individuals receive.

The results of the first project indicated that the socioeconomic
gradients are not consistent, but rather vary in steepness by gender,
outcome, and by urban context.  The second project demonstrated
that neighbourhoods have a greater influence on individuals' behaviour
than on actual health outcomes. The third project demonstrated that the
type of income earned matters for individual-level health.
Specifically, among those with lower incomes, individuals living in
households where income was derived entirely from earned sources
reported better health than those who receive some or all of their
income through transfer payments, even after adjusting for a broad
range of health determinants.

Here is the link to the Summary:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/sr-sr/finance/hprp-prpms/final/index_e.html

Health Canada's Health Policy Research Program (HPRP) was created in
2001 to fund health policy research of a medium to long-term
nature.  The research results from the first projects that were
funded have been completed.  The Research Management and
Dissemination Division (RMDD) of the Applied Research and Analysis
Directorate (ARAD) is releasing the Summaries of the research results
as they become available.