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1.  Socioeconomic inequalities in the non-use of dental care in Europe 
Oral health is an important component of people’s general health status. Many studies have shown that socioeconomic status is an important determinant of access to health services. In the present study, we explored the inequality and socioeconomic factors associated with people’s non-use of dental care across Europe.
We obtained data from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions survey conducted by Eurostat in 2007. These cross-sectional data were collected from people aged 16 years and older in 24 European countries, except those living in long-term care facilities. The variable of interest was the prevalence of non-use of dental care while needed. We used the direct method of standardisation by age and sex to eliminate confounders in the data. Socioeconomic inequalities in the non-use of dental care were measured through differences in prevalence, the relative concentration index (RCI), and the relative index of inequality (RII). We compared the results among countries and conducted standard and multilevel logistic regression analyses to examine the socioeconomic factors associated with the non-use of dental care while needed.
The results revealed significant socio-economic inequalities in the non-use of dental care across Europe, the magnitudes of which depended on the measure of inequality used. For example, inequalities in the prevalence of non-use among education levels according to the RCI ranged from 0.005 (in the United Kingdom) to −0.271 (Denmark) for men and from −0.009 (Poland) to 0.176 (Spain) for women, whereas the RII results ranged from 1.21 (Poland) to 11.50 (Slovakia) for men and from 1.62 (Poland) to 4.70 (Belgium) for women. Furthermore, the level-2 variance (random effects) was significantly different from zero, indicating the presence of heterogeneity in the probability of the non-use of needed dental care at the country level.
Overall, our study revealed considerable socioeconomic inequalities in the non-use of dental care at both the individual (intra-country) and collective (inter-country) levels. Therefore, to be most effective, policies to reduce this social inequality across Europe should address both levels.
PMCID: PMC3909506  PMID: 24476233
Oral health; Dental care; Non-use of dental care; Socioeconomic inequality; Socioeconomic determinants; Human development index; Density of dentists; Multilevel analysis; Europe
2.  Socioeconomic inequality and obesity prevalence trends in luxembourg, 1995–2007 
BMC Research Notes  2012;5:467.
Overweight and obesity are becoming increasingly critical problems in most developed countries. Approximately 20% of adults in most European countries are obese. This study examines the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Luxembourg and their association with different demographic, socioeconomic (SES), and behavioural factors.
The data used in this study were taken from 2 surveys on household income and living conditions conducted in 1995 and 2007. The target population was household residents aged 16 years and older, and body mass index (BMI) data were self-reported. Average BMI, overweight, and obesity prevalence rates were calculated according to each demographic (gender, nationality, marital status), SES (educational level, profession, and place of residence), and behavioural (physical activity and diet) factors. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted to measure the relationship between obesity and demographic, SES, and behavioural factors. All analyses were conducted according to gender, and data used were weighted.
Between 1995 and 2007, the average BMI remained nearly constant among men and women in the entire study population. Obesity prevalence increased by 24.5% through the study period (14.3% in 1995 to 17.8% in 2007). Obesity prevalence increased by 18.5% for men (15.1% in 1995 to 17.9% in 2007) and by 30% for women (13.6% in 1995 to 17.7% in 2007). Between 1995 and 2007, obesity increased sharply by 48.2% (from 11% to 16.3%) in Portuguese men, 76.7% (from 13.3% to 23.5%) in Portuguese women, 79.7% (from 17.2% to 30.9%) in widowed men, and 84.3% (from 12.1% to 22.3%) in divorced women. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that the relationship between the educational level and obesity was not statistically significant for men, but was significant for women.
The prevalence of overweight and obesity is high in Luxembourg and has changed slightly in recent years. SES inequalities in obesity exist and are most compelling among women. The fight against obesity should focus on education, with emphasis on the socially disadvantaged segment of the population.
PMCID: PMC3494539  PMID: 22931792
Obesity; Body Mass Index; Socioeconomic inequalities; Luxembourg

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