The importance of the socioeconomic status of countries for mental disorders in old age: development of an epidemiological transition model
|AJIT SHAH a1|
a1 Institute of Philosophy, Diversity and Mental Health, Centre for Ethnicity and Health, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, U.K.
The prevalence of a disorder is a function of the incidence of the disorder and the duration of the illness (which may remit spontaneously, by treatment or death). The socioeconomic status of societies may influence the incidence and duration of mental illnesses in old age by influencing life expectancy and availability of appropriate healthcare services and treatments (Suh and Shah, 2001). The relationship between a proxy measure of the socioeconomic status (per capita gross national domestic product (GDP)) and (i) the life expectancy, (ii) child mortality rates and (iii) proxy measures of the quality and quantity of available healthcare services (the proportion of GDP spent on health, per capita expenditure on health and child mortality rates) was examined. The WHO website (www.who.int/countries/en/) provided data on these variables for 191 of the 192 countries for the year 2002. The inter-correlations between all the measured variables were examined using Pearson's correlation coefficient. Because of highly significant inter-correlations between all these variables, multiple linear regression analysis, with the Enter method, was undertaken with per capita GDP as the dependent variable, and all the variables that were significantly correlated with per capita GDP on univariate analysis as the independent variables.
(Published Online May 16 2007)