Economic discrimination and health in Andalusia

Abstract

Background. Perceived discrimination has been found linked to mental and physical health problems. Factors such as race, age, gender, or disabilities can lead to poor health outcomes. However, literature has paid less attention to study perceived economic discrimination of those that are unemployment, have insecure or precarious jobs, especially after the financial crisis. This work aims to explore the association between economic discrimination and health in the region of Andalusia, Spain. Methods. This study is based on a sample of 1200 individuals from the IMPACT-A project. Different outcomes variables were analysed, general health (SF12); self-rated health, long-standing illness, body mass index, happiness, and use of health services. The economic discrimination indicator was developed through the results of an open-ended question that refers to other types of discrimination. Results, Results show that 65% of Andalusian that reported discrimination perceived themselves as subject to economic discrimination (i.e. unemployment, freelance, part time jobs, etc.) while only 35% reported other usual causes of discrimination based on race or colour, nationality, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, education level, social class. As other discrimination types, economic discrimination has been found similarly associated with health outcomes. On average people reporting economic discrimination present a higher use of primary health services compared with other discrimination typologies, a result that might be related with the higher prevalence of depressive disorders of socioeconomically disadvantaged during the period of economic downturn. Conclusions, This study show that economic discrimination can be as damaging as other discrimination types. As a result, unemployment, insecure or precarious jobs can also lead to poor health outcomes through the indirect effect of discrimination and stigmatization of groups that are excluded from labour markets and society. Key messages, This study analyses the association between economic discrimination and health. Unemployment and precarious jobs can also lead to poor health outcomes through the indirect effect of economic discrimination.

Publication
The European Journal of Public Health 27(suppl_3)
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Javier Alvarez-Galvez
Research Fellow (Ramon y Cajal)

PhD by the Complutense University of Madrid. Currently I am working as Ramón y Cajal Research Fellow in the Department of Biomedicine, Biotechnology and Public Health at the University of Cadiz. I have experience teaching courses related with statistics, quantitative methods, multivariate analysis, data analysis and sociology. My main research interests are related with quantitative research methods, social/health systems, social determinants of health, and sociology.