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Suicide has been decreasing over the past decade. However, we do not know whether socioeconomic inequality in suicide has been decreasing as well.
We assessed recent trends in socioeconomic inequalities in suicide in 15 European populations.
The DEMETRIQ study collected and harmonised register-based data on suicide mortality follow-up of population censuses, from 1991 and 2001, in European populations aged 35–79. Absolute and relative inequalities of suicide according to education were computed on more than 300 million person-years.
In the 1990s, people in the lowest educational group had 1.82 times more suicides than those in the highest group. In the 2000s, this ratio increased to 2.12. Among men, absolute and relative inequalities were substantial in both periods and generally did not decrease over time, whereas among women inequalities were absent in the first period and emerged in the second.
The World Health Organization (WHO) plan for ‘Fair opportunity of mental wellbeing’ is not likely to be met.
Various studies in the USA and Canada have consistently shown a positive association between length of residence of immigrants and obesity. Studies in European countries have obtained less consistent results. The present work assesses the influence of length of residence on the frequency of obesity in immigrants in the city of Madrid, Spain.
We studied a sample of 7155 persons aged 18 years and over residing in the city of Madrid, who were was surveyed between November 2004 and May 2005. Information was collected on immigrant status (country of birth), length of residence in Spain, obesity, sociodemographic characteristics and lifestyle.
Compared with the Spanish population, the odds for obesity in the immigrant population by length of residence was less than one in all groups, becoming closer to one with increasing time of residence (OR = 0·67, 0·73 and 0·81 for immigrants with less than 2, 2–4 and 5–9 years of residence in Spain, respectively), up to 10 or more years of residence, when it declined (OR = 0·69). The magnitude of this association was considerably reduced after adjusting for sociodemographic variables and for perceived health, but was not further modified after adjusting for lifestyle variables.
Length of residence of immigrants in the city of Madrid is not associated with the frequency of obesity. It is possible that the circumstances immigrants encounter after arriving in Spain do not involve an overexposure to factors favouring obesity, relative to those they bring with them.
The relationship of socio-economic status and vegetable consumption is examined in nine European countries. The aim is to analyse whether the pattern of socio-economic variation with regard to vegetable consumption is similar in all studied countries with high v. low vegetable availability and affordability, and whether education has an independent effect on vegetable consumption once the effects of other socio-economic factors have been taken into account.
The data for the study were obtained from national surveys conducted in Finland, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, France, Italy and Spain, in 1998 or later. These surveys included data on the frequency of use of vegetables. Food Balance Sheets indicated that the availability of vegetables was best in the Mediterranean countries. The prices of vegetables were lowest in the Mediterranean countries and Germany.
Educational level was positively associated with vegetable consumption in the Nordic and Baltic countries. In the Mediterranean countries, education was not directly associated with the use of vegetables but, after adjusting for place of residence and occupation, it was found that those with a lower educational level consumed vegetables slightly more often. Manual workers consumed vegetables less often than non-manual workers, but otherwise there was no systematic association with occupation.
The Mediterranean countries did not show a positive association between educational level and vegetable consumption. The positive association found in the Northern European countries is linked to the lower availability and affordability of vegetables there and their everyday cooking habits with no long-standing cultural tradition of using vegetables.
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