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Salud Pública de México

Print version ISSN 0036-3634


GUTIERREZ, Juan Pablo; GARCIA-SAISO, Sebastián; ESPINOSA-DE LA PENA, Rodrigo  and  BALANDRAN, Dulce Alejandra. Health inequalities on adolescents' risk behavior indicators in Mexico: analysis of two national health surveys. Salud pública Méx [online]. 2016, vol.58, n.6, pp.657-665. ISSN 0036-3634.


To document socioeconomic health inequalities on adolescents' risk behaviors in Mexico using gap and gradient measures.

Materials and methods:

Analysis of the national health surveys 2000 and 2012 measuring absolute and relative gaps as well as the slope index of inequality for risk behavior indicators on adolescents using socioeconomic indicators and also measuring gaps for sex, urban/rural residency, and indigenous/non-indigenous population.


For sexual risk behaviors, inequalities are reflected in a lower probability of using protection at the first sexual intercourse among those living in households with lower income for women and men as well as higher probability of ever being pregnant for adolescents of lower income. For tobacco and alcohol consumption and for violence related health problems, inequalities imply higher probability of consumption among those in household with larger incomes.


Socioeconomic health inequalities are a relevant challenge for adolescents' wellbeing in Mexico, with a complex scenario where resource scarcity is related to increasing risk behaviors that may compromise their future. A better understanding of health inequalities is needed to design effective interventions.

Keywords : health inequalities; risk behavior; adolescent; Mexico.

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