Socio-economic disparities in the burden of seasonal influenza: the effect of social and material deprivation on rates of influenza infection

PloS One
K M L CharlandD L Buckeridge

Abstract

There is little empirical evidence in support of a relationship between rates of influenza infection and level of material deprivation (i.e., lack of access to goods and services) and social deprivation (i.e. lack of social cohesion and support). Using validated population-level indices of material and social deprivation and medical billing claims for outpatient clinic and emergency department visits for influenza from 1996 to 2006, we assessed the relationship between neighbourhood rates of influenza and neighbourhood levels of deprivation using Bayesian ecological regression models. Then, by pooling data from neighbourhoods in the top decile (i.e., most deprived) and the bottom decile, we compared rates in the most deprived populations to the least deprived populations using age- and sex-standardized rate ratios. Deprivation scores ranged from one to five with five representing the highest level of deprivation. We found a 21% reduction in rates for every 1 unit increase in social deprivation score (rate ratio [RR] 0.79, 95% Credible Interval [CrI] 0.66, 0.97). There was little evidence of a meaningful linear relationship with material deprivation (RR 1.06, 95% CrI 0.93, 1.24). However, relative to neighbourhoods with deprivat...Continue Reading

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Oct 19, 2012·American Journal of Epidemiology·Stephanie BrienD L Buckeridge
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