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RESEARCH PAPER
 
CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
 
 

Health inequalities among students of lower secondary schools in Bytom, Poland

 
1
Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, School of Public Health in Bytom, Department of Epidemiology, Bytom, Poland
2
Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, School of Public Health in Bytom, Department of Biostatistics, Bytom, Poland
3
Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, School of Public Health in Bytom, Department of Toxicology and Occupational Health Protection, Bytom, Poland
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Introduction and objective:
Poverty and low level of education pose the biggest threats to public health. Moreover, they generate inequalities in public healthThe aim of the study was to check if there are any inequalities in health among teenagers living in Bytom, Poland.

Material and Methods:
In 2011 and 2012, an epidemiological cross-sectional study was conducted on 1,099 students from lower secondary schools from Bytom. The students completed a questionnaire which was based on an earlier Health Behaviour in School-aged Children study (HBSC). Socio-Economic Status of teenagers (SES) was determined according to the Family Affluence Scale (FAS), the intensity of possible problems in the place of residence and on parents’ education. Impact of SES on health self-assessment, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis with addition to spinal deformities were also investigated.

Results:
A good or very good level of health was declared by students from families representing a high level of FAS and residing in a more peaceful, less troubled neighbourhood. The highest level of asthma prevalence (10.9%) occurred among students from families with a low level of FAS. The students from families with high FAS were less affected by spinal deformities (34.6%). Students living in a troubled neighbourhood more often suffered from bronchial asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis and spinal deformities.

Conclusions:
The level of family affluence depends on the parents’ education and all the analysed health problems occurred more frequently in children whose parents had completed at least general secondary education. A high economic standard of living and a peaceful neighbourhood determined good or very good health self-assessment among the surveyed students.

CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Agata Wypych-Ślusarska   
Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, School of Public Health in Bytom, Department of Epidemiology, Bytom, Poland
 
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