Japanese Journal of Health and Human Ecology
Relationship between increases in the Gini coefficient and mortality rate amongyoung adults in Japan: necessity of implementing anti-risk countermeasures
Relationship between increases in the Gini coefficient and mortality rate among young adults in Japan: necessity of implementing anti-risk countermeasures Minoru SUGITA and Takashi IZUNO Introduction: Over the past several years, differences and/or inequality within Japanese society have been pointed out from various study areas. The actual status of variations in differences and/or inequality in the economy and variations in health indicators was determined objectively from statistics
... in Japan. We forecast the differences and/or inequality in the economy and mortality rate in the future, and discuss countermeasures for health impairment due to economic inequality as a social epidemiologic study. Materials and methods: Gini coefficients, which show economic inequality, and mortality rates were collected from statistical data published in Japan. An article in which the relationship between economic inequality and difference in health was noted and others were cited. Results: The Gini coefficients for inequality in income under 35 years of age and in consumption of the thirties and the forties increased recently in Japan. Mortality rate for all causes of males aged 30-34 years increased and that for suicide increased notably except aged people in recent years. Discussion: The Gini coefficient increased in adults recently in Japan. The reason for this is because enterprises reduced the numbers of regular employees, whose salaries are higher, and increased the numbers of non-regular employees such as part-time and dispatched workers, whose salaries are lower, in order to decrease labour cost after the bubble economy collapsed in 1990. Age-adjusted mortality rate for all causes and mortality rates for all causes by age decreased consistently in Japan after World War II. Recently, however, the mortality rate for all causes in males aged 30-34 years has increased. This indicates that socialization of anti-risk countermeasures are not sufficient in Japanese society in a recession, demonstrating the existence of a defective social system and/or of notable problems in the management of social systems in Japan. It should be recognized that if the situation is neglected and effective countermeasures are not taken, social chaos may result. Thus effective policies introducing sufficient anti-risk countermeasures are necessary to reduce the mortality rate.