Can economic indicators predict infectious disease spread? A cross-country panel analysis of 13 European countries

Hunter, Paul ORCID:, Colon Gonzalez, Felipe De Jesus, Brainard, Julii, Majuru, Batsirai, Pedrazzoli, Debora, Abubakar, Ibrahim, Dinsa, Girmaye, Suhrcke, Marc, Stuckler, David, Lim, Tek-Ang and Semenza, Jan C. (2020) Can economic indicators predict infectious disease spread? A cross-country panel analysis of 13 European countries. Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 48 (4). pp. 351-361. ISSN 1403-4948

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Aims: It is unclear how economic factors impact on the epidemiology of infectious disease. We evaluated the relationship between incidence of selected infectious diseases and economic factors, including economic downturn, in 13 European countries between 1970 and 2010. Methods: Data were obtained from national communicable disease surveillance centres. Negative binomial forms of the generalised additive model (GAM) and the generalised linear model were tested to see which best reflected transmission dynamics of: diphtheria, pertussis, measles, meningococcal disease, hepatitis B, gonorrhoea, syphilis, hepatitis A and salmonella. Economic indicators were gross domestic product per capita (GDPpc), unemployment rates and (economic) downturn. Results: GAM models produced the best goodness-of-fit results. The relationship between GDPpc and disease incidence was often non-linear. Strength and directions of association between population age, tertiary education levels, GDPpc and unemployment were disease dependent. Overdispersion for almost all diseases validated the assumption of a negative binomial relationship. Downturns were not independently linked to disease incidence. Conclusions: Social and economic factors can be correlated with many infections. However, the trend is not always in the same direction, and these associations are often non-linear. Economic downturn or recessions as indicators of increased disease risk may be better replaced by GDPpc or unemployment measures.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: gonorrhoea,hepatititus b,measles,menningococcal disease,pertussis,salmonella,europe,surveillance,gdp,sdg 3 - good health and well-being,sdg 8 - decent work and economic growth ,/dk/atira/pure/sustainabledevelopmentgoals/good_health_and_well_being
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 May 2019 11:30
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 14:43
DOI: 10.1177/1403494819852830

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