Background: Gender plays a well-recognized role in shaping health inequities. However, the population-level health consequences of gender inequalities have not been measured comprehensively. The goal of this study was to evaluate the association between gender inequality and health indicators in organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. Methods: Ecological study based on 1990–2017 panel data for OECD member countries. Gender inequality was measured using the Gender Inequality Index (GII). The population health parameters evaluated were life expectancy (LE), healthy life expectancy (HALE), years of life lost (YLL), years lived with disability (YLD), disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), and specific-cause mortality. Two-way fixed-effects linear models were used to assess the relationship between gender inequality and health outcomes. Models included potential mediating and confounding factors such as health spending, political model, and income inequalities. Findings: Greater gender inequality was associated with lower LE (-0·49%; CI95 -0·63%– -0·31%; p-value < 0·0001), HALE (-0·47%; CI95 -0·63%– -0·31%; p-value < 0·0001) and with increased premature mortality YLL (6·82%; CI95 3·63%–10·75%; p-value < 0·0001) and morbidity measured in DALYs (1·50%; CI95 0·48%–2·46%; p-value = 0·0028) and YLD (2·59%; CI95 0·67%–4·77%; p-value = 0·0063) for each 0·1 increments on the GII. The sensitivity analysis indicated that the results were robust to the various specifications of the causal models. Interpretation: Our results suggest that gender inequality pose a sizable impact on population health outcomes. Promoting gender equality as part of public policies is vital for optimizing health on a population scale. Funding: Agencia Nacional de Investigación y Desarrollo (ANID)/Programa Becas/Magister Becas Chile/2017- 22,170,332
Bibliographical note© 2021, The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
This study was funded by the former National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and current National Research and Development Agency of Chile (ANID)/Scholarship Program/Magister Becas Chile grant 2017–22,170,332. The funding source had no role in study design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation of results. All the authors had access to the full dataset and were responsible for the final decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
CVP was funded by the former National Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) and current National Research and Development Agency of Chile (ANID)/Scholarship Program/Magister Becas Chile gran 2017-22179332. CC was funded by the project Redressing Gendered Health Inequalities of Displaced Women and Girls in contexts of Protracted Crisis in Central and South America (ReGHID), funded by ESRC-UKRI (ES/T00441X/1). The funding source had no role in the study design, data collection, analysis, or interpretation of results. Only the authors have access to the full dataset, and the authors are responsible for the final decision to publish.
- Gender inequality
- Gender inequality index
- Health inequality