Intended for healthcare professionals

Education And Debate

Socioeconomic determinants of health: Children, inequalities, and health

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 12 April 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1122
  1. Helen Roberts, coordinator, research and developmenta
  1. a Policy and Development Unit, Barnardo's, Barkingside, Ilford IG6 1QG


    This article describes a growing body of evidence showing the adverse effects of the widening income gap on the health and welfare of children and young people. The effects of this go well beyond morbidity and mortality and can also be seen in the areas of crime, violence, and educational attainment. There is a need for evidence based policy in this area, but meanwhile there is scope for intervention in pregnancy and the early years, and good evidence that this is effective. A number of well evaluated interventions not necessarily directly related to health, such as early learning programmes and social support for parents, promise to have beneficial health effects.

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