Journal of
Public Health and Epidemiology

  • Abbreviation: J. Public Health Epidemiol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2316
  • DOI: 10.5897/JPHE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 655

Full Length Research Paper

Socio-Economic Inequalities in the Risk of Diseases and Associated Risk Factors in India

Mohammad Hifzur Rahman* and Abhishek Singh
International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai – 88, India.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 13 September 2011
  •  Published: 30 November 2011


Extant literature is full of studies on socio-economic inequalities in maternal and child health in India but studies on inequalities in risk of diseases are limited. We use data from India Human Development Survey (IHDS) conducted in 2004-05 to test two hypotheses: first, diabetes and high blood pressure are associated with affluence; and second, tuberculosis and mental illness are associated with poverty. We use rich-poor ratio, concentration curves, adjusted concentration indices, dominance test, and binary logistic regression to test the aforementioned hypotheses. The findings suggest that diabetes and high blood pressure are indeed associated with affluence. But we could not find evidence to support our second hypothesis. Also, rich and poor were equally likely to get cancer or the heart diseases. Indeed, the risk factors were disproportionately distributed, particularly to the disadvantage of the poor.


Key words: Disease, affluence, poverty, concentration curves and indices, dominance.