- Autores: Giuliano Russo, Inês Campos-Matos, Julian Perelman
- Ano de Publicação: 2016
- Journal: International Journal for Equity in Health
- Link: http://equityhealthj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12939-016-0314-z
Health inequalities are recognised as a public health issue worldwide, but only a few countries have developed national strategies to monitor and reduce them. Despite its considerable health inequalities, Portugal seems to lack a systematic strategy to tackle them, possibly due to the absence of organised evidence on the issue. We performed a systematic review that aimed to describe the available evidence on social inequalities in health in Portugal, in order to contribute towards a comprehensive and focused strategy to tackle them.
We followed the PRISMA guidelines and searched Scopus, Web of Science and PubMed for studies that looked at the association between a measure of socioeconomic status and a health outcome in the Portuguese resident population since the year 2000. We excluded health behaviours and healthcare use from our search. We performed a qualitative description of the results.
Seventy-one publications were selected, all reporting observational analyses, most of them using cross-sectional data. These publications showed strong evidence for health inequalities related to education and gender, chiefly for obesity, self-rated health and mental health.
Analysis of the eligible publications showed that current research does not seem to have consistently covered the link between health and key Portuguese social problems. A strategy focusing on the monitoring of most prevalent diseases, most determining socioeconomic factors and vulnerable populations would be crucial to guide academic research in a country in which health inequalities are so ubiquitous and deeply rooted.