The impact of socioeconomic position (SEP) on women's health over the lifetime
AuthorO'Neil, A; Russell, JD; Thompson, K; Martinson, ML; Peters, SAE
PublisherELSEVIER IRELAND LTD
University of Melbourne Author/sO'Neil, Adrienne
AffiliationMelbourne School of Population and Global Health
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsO'Neil, A., Russell, J. D., Thompson, K., Martinson, M. L. & Peters, S. A. E. (2020). The impact of socioeconomic position (SEP) on women's health over the lifetime. MATURITAS, 140, pp.1-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.maturitas.2020.06.001.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
The "social gradient of health" refers to the steep inverse associations between socioeconomic position (SEP) and the risk of premature mortality and morbidity. In many societies, due to cultural and structural factors, women and girls have reduced access to the socioeconomic resources that ensure good health and wellbeing when compared with their male counterparts. Thus, the objective of this paper is to review how SEP - a construct at the heart of the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) theory - shapes the health and longevity of women and girls at all stages of the lifespan. Using literature identified from PubMed, Cochrane, CINAHL and EMBASE databases, we first describe the SDoH theory. We then use examples from each stage of the life course to demonstrate how SEP can differentially shape girls' and women's health outcomes compared with boys' and men's, as well as between sub-groups of girls and women when other axes of inequalities are considered, including ethnicity, race and residential setting. We also explore the key consideration of whether conventional SEP markers are appropriate for understanding the social determinants of women's health. We conclude by making key recommendations in the context of clinical, research and policy development.
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