Socioeconomic multi-domain health inequalities in Dutch primary school children

Angelique P. Vermeiren*, Maartje Willeboordse, Marije Oosterhoff, Nina Bartelink, Peter Muris, Hans Bosma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Background: This study assesses socio-economic health inequalities (SEHI) over primary school-age (4- to 12-years old) across 13 outcomes (i.e. body-mass index [BMI], handgrip strength, cardiovascular fitness, current physical conditions, moderate to vigorous physical activity, sleep duration, daily fruit and vegetable consumption, daily breakfast, exposure to smoking, mental strengths and difficulties, self-efficacy, school absenteeism and learning disabilities), covering four health domains (i.e. physical health, health behaviour, mental health and academic health).

Methods: Multilevel mixed effect (linear and logistic) regression analyses were applied to cross-sectional data of a Dutch quasi-experimental study that included 1403 pupils from nine primary schools. Socioeconomic background (high-middle-low) was indicated by maternal education (n = 976) and parental material deprivation (n = 784).

Results: Pupils with higher educated mothers had lower BMIs, higher handgrip strength and higher cardiovascular fitness; their parents reported more daily fruit and vegetable consumption, daily breakfast and less exposure to smoking. Furthermore these pupils showed less mental difficulties and less school absenteeism compared with pupils whose mothers had a lower education level. When using parental material deprivation as socio-economic indicator, similar results were found for BMI, cardiovascular fitness, sleep duration, exposure to smoking and mental strengths and difficulties. Socio-economic differences in handgrip strength, cardiovascular fitness and sleep duration were larger in older than in younger pupils.

Conclusions: Childhood SEHI are clearly found across multiple domains, and some are larger in older than in younger pupils. Interventions aiming to tackle SEHI may therefore need a comprehensive and perhaps more fundamental approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)610-616
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume28
Issue number4
Early online date9 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018

Keywords

  • SEDENTARY BEHAVIOR
  • PHYSICAL-ACTIVITY
  • AGED CHILDREN
  • SELF-EFFICACY
  • ADOLESCENTS
  • CHILDHOOD
  • SLEEP
  • SCHOOLCHILDREN
  • ASSOCIATION
  • CONSUMPTION

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