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Time period trends in ethnic inequalities in limiting long term illness in England and Wales

Neil R. Smith (NBased at the Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK and in the Population Studies Department at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK)
Emily Grundy (Based in the Population Studies Department, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK)

Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1757-0980

Article publication date: 17 November 2011

Abstract

Purpose

This paper's aim is to analyse ethnic group differences in self reported limiting long term illness (LLTI) among middle‐aged men and women in England and Wales and compare patterns of variation in 1991 and 2001.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is a cross‐sectional analysis of two nationally representative cohorts aged 40‐59 in 1991 and 2001, respectively. Seven ethnic minority groups were selected from the Office for National Statistics Longitudinal Study of England and Wales (White Irish, Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Black Caribbean, Black African and Chinese). Logistic regression estimated the odds ratio for having a LLTI in each ethnic minority group compared to White British. The odds of having a LLTI in 2001 compared to 1991, by sex, were adjusted stepwise for differences in age, social class, car ownership, household overcrowding and tenure and length of residence.

Findings

All ethnic groups reported a higher prevalence of LLTI in 2001 than in 1991. The rise in LLTI was largest in White Irish, Bangladeshi and Pakistani and smallest in Black African and Chinese groups. Controlling for socioeconomic factors had a weak influence on the risk of limiting long term illness in men and women. Controlling for length of residence attenuated the risk of LLTI in 2001 in White Irish and Pakistani men, and Indian men and women.

Practical implications

Emerging ethnic differences highlight a growing need for differential health services to manage the increase in LLTI and demands for illness management.

Originality/value

The paper illustrates that ethnic differences in LLTI changed during the 1990s with some groups becoming more disadvantaged relative to the White British population and others less so.

Keywords

Citation

Smith, N.R. and Grundy, E. (2011), "Time period trends in ethnic inequalities in limiting long term illness in England and Wales", Ethnicity and Inequalities in Health and Social Care, Vol. 4 No. 4, pp. 200-209. https://doi.org/10.1108/17570981111250859

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited