Journal of Health Monitoring 7(S5), 2-23


German Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation (GISD): Revision, update and applications


Background: Regional deprivation indices enable researchers to analyse associations between socioeconomic disadvantages and health outcomes even if the health data of interest does not include information on the individuals’ socioeconomic position. This article introduces the recent revision of the German Index of Socioeconomic Deprivation (GISD) and presents associations with life expectancy as well as age-standardised cardiovascular mortality rates and cancer incidences as applications.

Methods: The GISD measures the level of socioeconomic deprivation using administrative data of education, employment, and income situations at the district and municipality level from the INKAR database. The indicators are weighted via principal component analyses. The regional distribution is depicted cartographically, regional level associations with health outcomes are presented.

Results: The principal component analysis indicates medium to high correlations of the indicators with the index subdimensions. Correlation analyses show that in districts with the lowest deprivation, the average life expectancy of men is approximately six years longer (up to three years longer for women) than for those from districts with the highest deprivation. A similar social gradient is observed for cardiovascular mortality and lung cancer incidence.

Conclusions: The GISD provides a valuable tool to analyse socioeconomic inequalities in health conditions, diseases, and their determinants at the regional level.

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Michalski, N., Reis, M., Tetzlaff, F., Herber, M., Kroll, L. E., Hövener, C., Nowossadeck, E. & Hoebel, J.