Inequalities in Health Status from EQ-5D Findings: A Cross-Sectional Study in Low-Income Communities of Bangladesh

Document Type : Original Article


1 Health Economics and Financing Research Group, Center for Equity and Health Systems, icddr,b, Dhaka, Bangladesh

2 Health Economics Unit, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Dhaka, Bangladesh

3 Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Liverpool, UK; Health Economics Unit, Department of Learning, Informatics, Management and Ethics (LIME), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden


Measuring health status by using standardized and validated instrument has become a growing concern over the past few decades throughout the developed and developing countries. The aim of the study was to investigate the overall self-reported health status along with potential inequalities by using EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ-5D) instrument among low-income people of Bangladesh.
A cross-sectional household survey was conducted in Chandpur district of Bangladesh. Bangla version of the EQ-5D questionnaire was employed along with socio-demographic information. EQ-5D questionnaire composed of 2-part measurements: EQ-5D descriptive system and the visual analogue scale (VAS). For measuring health status, UK-based preference weights were applied while higher score indicated better health status. For facilitating the consistency with EQ-5D score, VASs were converted to a scale with scores ranging from 0 to 1. Multiple logistic regression models were also employed to examine differences among EQ-5D dimensions.
A total of 1433 respondents participated in the study. The mean EQ-5D and VAS score was 0.76 and 0.77, respectively. The females were more likely to report any problem than the males (P < 0.001). Compared to the younger, elderly were more than 2-3 times likely to report any health problem in all EQ-5D dimensions (OR [odds ratio] = 3.17 for mobility, OR = 3.24 for self-care). However, the respondents of the poorest income group were significantly suffered more from every EQ-5D dimension than the richest income quintile.
Socio-economic and demographic inequalities in health status was observed in the study. Study suggests to do further investigation with country representative sample to measure the inequalities of overall health status. It would be helpful for policy-maker to find a new way aiming to reduce such inequalities.


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