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PhD ceremony Ms. K. Rosicová: Regional mortality in Slovakia: socioeconomic indicators and ethnicity

When:Mo 24-06-2013 at 14:30

PhD ceremony: Ms. K. Rosicová, 14.30 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Regional mortality in Slovakia: socioeconomic indicators and ethnicity

Promotor(s): prof. J.W. Groothoff

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Regional differences in mortality might reflect socioeconomic and ethnic differences between regions. This study examines the contribution of selected socioeconomic indicators (education, unemployment, income, material need) and the proportion of the Roma minority on regional differences in mortality by age and gender in the Slovak Republic. Poisson regression (linear, multilevel), correlations and a non-parametric regression tree were used to analyze these data. Socioeconomic indicators, such as education, unemployment or poverty, significantly contributed to regional differences in mortality in the Slovak Republic. The male population seems to be more vulnerable to their effect, particularly in the cases of alcohol-related mortality and unemployment. A significant group of the population at risk consists of Roma living in settlements. The proportion of Roma is the strongest predictor of regional perinatal and infant mortality in the Slovak Republic and of urban mortality in Slovakia’s two biggest cities. The proportion of inhabitants in material need was the most important economic indicator associated with the mortality rate among districts in both explored periods (1997–1998 and 2007–2008). Developing and implementing policies aimed at reducing socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and addressing the health needs of the most deprived groups, and the most deprived areas, seems to be important for the country’s further economic development. Attention should therefore be paid on the population at risk – mainly the population living in Roma settlements – and successful strategies and tools (e.g. Roma mediators); their sustainability should be evaluated.