Background We sought to examine changes in the magnitude of social inequality in motorcycle helmet use in Taiwan between 2001 and 2009.
Methods Using data from the 2001 and 2009 Taiwan National Health Interview Surveys, we calculated absolute (the slope index of inequality, SII) and relative (relative index of inequality, RII) measures of inequality in helmet use by three indicators of socioeconomic position.
Results The rate of motorcycle helmet use was 92% (14 801/16 100) in 2001 and decreased to 89% (15 748/17 948) in 2009. We noted a significant decrease in social inequality in helmet use in RII according to urbanisation level, a significant decrease in SII and RII according to income level, and a significant increase in SII according to education level. The reduction in RII according to urbanisation level was more prominent than that based on income level, from 1.73 (95% CI 1.63 to 1.84) in 2001 to 1.33 (95% CI 1.27 to 1.39) in 2009. The decline in helmet use was most prominent for motorcycle users who live in suburban areas, from 94% in 2001 to 88% in 2009.
Conclusions The significant reduction of social inequality in helmet use according to urbanisation level and income is not a public health success story. Rather, it is a warning sign of slackening law enforcement in Taiwan.
- Social Inequalities
- Health Behaviour
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 3.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.