Article Text


Global problems
P2-487 Population changes, social disparities and child health in Latin America
  1. M G Vega-Lopez,
  2. G J Gonzalez-Perez,
  3. P P Quintero-Vega
  1. University of Guadalajara, Guadalajara, Mexico


Introduction America Latina -a region known for its social disparities- is currently experiencing a profound demographic and epidemiological transition. In such sense, this paper seeks to analyse the relationship between social inequalities, demographic changes and child health in Latin America.

Methods Information about population and health was obtained from diverse official sources; different statistics like ratios among extreme socioeconomic groups or countries (ordered in quartiles according to Human Development Index 2007) were calculated to quantify the difference in health indicators among countries or in selected countries.

Results Despite the observed population ageing in recent years, this study reveals that the population under 15 years old in Latin America in 2030 will be only slightly lower to the existent in 1990; furthermore, child population's will be increased in poorest countries of the region. Data reflects large differences in health indicators: in 2008, infant mortality rate in quartile of the poorest countries almost triplicate the rate of the richest quartile; inside each studied country, notables differences related with poverty are also observed: in all the cases, the infant malnutrition rate or the <5 mortality rate are much higher in poorest population's quintile that in the richest quintile.

Conclusions The above-mentioned aspects evidence a dramatic inequity in child health -related to social disparities-, something more relevant since in absolute terms, Latin American population <15 will maintain similar levels in next decades and that in the poorest countries -or in the poorest regions in each country—child population's will be higher.

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