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Tackling inequalities in health: the need for building a systematic evidence base
  1. J P Mackenbach
  1. Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, Netherlands;

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    Socioeconomic inequalities in health have been demonstrated in all countries with available data, and evidence on determinants of these inequalities is accumulating. Our understanding of the problem has reached the point where we can identify entry points for policies and interventions, and in some countries awareness of the problem among policy makers and public health practitioners has even produced an urge to implement policies and interventions that can reasonably be expected to be effective. Examples of such countries include the Netherlands, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, but more are likely to follow, given the current worldwide interest in inequalities in health.

    Unfortunately, it is exceedingly difficult to find good evidence on the effectiveness of policies and interventions to reduce inequalities in health. The experience of both the Acheson Committee, …

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