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Applying an equity lens to cardiovascular disease prevention in northern Sweden

Research project The application of an equity lens in the present proposal is embodied by a focus on three aspects of equity in health: the impact of a preventive intervention; inequality in access to health care; and the identification of the social determinants of those inequalities.

Three main research questions will be analysed during the period 1990-2010: a) Has the VIP intervention reduced socioeconomic inequalities in CVD morbidity and mortality? b) Are “equals treated equally” when it comes to health care utilization in Västerbotten? c) What are the key determinants of socioeconomic inequality in CVD and health care utilization in Västerbotten? With these aims, we intend to produce new knowledge regarding the degree to which health equity is currently addressed in the health programs, to measure health equity and to promote the inclusion of a health equity lens to public health policies in Sweden setting the frame for this project’s relevance for society.

Head of project

Project overview

Project period

2015-01-01 2017-12-31

Funding

Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2015-2017: SEK 2,980,000

Research subject

Public health and community medicine

Project description

The current Swedish Public Health Policy aims to tackle the socioeconomic gradient in health across society. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading health problem in the country. CVD literature has observed that certain interventions might be reducing the disease incidence but at the same time contributing to increase health inequalities.

Therefore, explicit inclusion of an equity perspective in public health policies is paramount for society to even have a chance of meeting the goal of reduced health inequities.

To achieve this, the term “equity lens” has been introduced, denoting a strategy involving explicit integration of equity aspects in research, monitoring and/or practice, with the aim of ameliorating the gaps between the most and the least disadvantaged in any given health intervention.

The application of an equity lens in the present proposal is embodied by a focus on three aspects of equity in health: the impact of a preventive intervention; inequality in access to health care; and the identification of the social determinants of those inequalities.

To explore this, an equity lens will be applied to the Västerbotten Intervention Programme (VIP), a population-based intervention aiming to reduce CVD incidence and mortality.

Three main research questions will be analysed during the period 1990-2010:
a) Has the VIP intervention reduced socioeconomic inequalities in CVD morbidity and mortality?
b) Are “equals treated equally” when it comes to health care utilization in Västerbotten?
c) What are the key determinants of socioeconomic inequality in CVD and health care utilization in Västerbotten?

With these aims, we intend to produce new knowledge regarding the degree to which health equity is currently addressed in the health programs, to measure health equity and to promote the inclusion of a health equity lens to public health policies in Sweden setting the frame for this project’s relevance for society.