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Inequalities in health are pervasive and durable, but they are not uniform. To date, however, the drivers of these between-country patters in health inequalities remain largely unknown. In this analysis, we draw on data from 17 European countries to explore whether inequalities in political participation, that is, inequalities in voting by educational attainment, are correlated with health inequalities. Over and above a range of relevant confounders, such as GDP, income inequality, health spending, social protection spending, poverty rates, and smoking, greater inequalities in political participation remain correlated with higher health inequalities. If 'politicians and officials are under no compulsion to pay much heed to classes and groups of citizens that do not vote' then political inequalities could indirectly affect health through its impact on policy choices that determine who has access to the resources necessary for a healthy life. Inequalities in political participation, then, may well be one of the 'causes of the causes' of ill-health.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Social science & medicine (1982)
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A system of government in which there is free and equal participation by the people in the political decision-making process.
Individuals or groups, excluded from participation in the economic, social, and political activities of membership in a community.
The World Health Organization's classification categories of health and health-related domains. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) consists of two lists: a list of body functions and structure, and a list of domains of activity and participation. The ICF also includes a list of environmental factors.
Health services and access for DISABLED PERSONS. Disabilities include impairments, activity limitations, or participation restrictions, and reflect the interaction between the individual with the disability and personal and environmental factors.
The complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out in a specific political unit.