10 June 2018
Despite progress in the health indexes in recent years, health inequalities remain as a global challenge within and between regions and countries. This study is the first to quantify the socioeconomic inequity in gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) using the concentration index.
In this cross-sectional study, we used baseline data (7012 subjects) from the Fasa Cohort Study (the Southern Iran). The principal component analysis was used to construct socioeconomic status of the participants. The concentration index and concentration curve were used to measure socioeconomic-related inequality in GERD. Decomposition of concentration index was also done to identify the contribution of each explanatory variable to the wealth-related inequality in GERD prevalence.
The prevalence of GERD was 16.9% (95% CI: 15.9-17.7%). The overall concentration index for GERD was 0.093 (95% CI: 0.062-0.166]. Correspondingly, this figure for men and women were 0.116 (95% CI: 0.062-0.171%) and 0.091 (95% CI: 0.044-0.137%), respectively. The main contributors of socioeconomic-related inequality in GERD prevalence were socioeconomic status (64.4%), alcohol drinking (29%), and age (8.4%).
GERD is significantly more concentrated among richest people. There was significant socioeconomic inequality in GERD according to some individual factors. These inequalities need to be addressed by policy makers to identify the vulnerable subgroups and to reduce the disease burden in the community.