The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3394.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - 8:30 PM

Abstract #62884

Comparison of indicators for public health development in Sweden and Massachusetts

L. Christer Hogstedt, MD, professor1, Gunnar Agren, MD,, DG1, Staffan Lindberg, MA1, Karin Melinder, PhD1, David H. Wegman, MD, MSc2, and John Wooding, PhD3. (1) National Institute of Public Health, Olof Palmes Gata 17, Stockholm, 103 52, Sweden, (2) Dean, School of Health and Environment, University of Massachusetts Lowell, 3 Solomont Way, Suite 1, Lowell, MA 01854-5121, 978-934-3265,, (3) Provost, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Cumnock Hall, 1 University Avenue, Lowell, MA 01854

The Swedish government has recently adopted a national public health policy. The US Healthy People 2010 program includes similar goals. The US as well as the Swedish approach explicitly aim at creating the base for a public health policy to reduce inequity in health. Such strategies must take into consideration the development of public health determinants, e.g. family structure, educational system, social networks, social class, work setting, and level of prosperity. It would be valuable to analyze and compare the strategies, the methods of implementation, successes and failures and indicators at different levels. Therefore, we have started a collaborative effort to compare health and determinant indicators available at the state, regional and community level in one region of Massachusetts and a comparable industrial region of Sweden. The clearest result of the initial comparisons is that the Swedish statistical systems that relate to health and well-being are much better oriented to deriving estimates at the city or regional levels. Another observation is that Swedish data take better account of the life-course perspective and pay particular attention to work-related health with information available at the local level for work injury rates as well as work disability. We have identified initial difficulties in direct comparisons of basic demographic and economic data due to differences in definitions, denominators and cut-off points but those could be overcome by reclassifications from basic numbers. We consider this as an important area for national as well as international public health policy and research collaboration in the future.

Learning Objectives:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Measurement Methods and Issues

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA