Inequality in health

Why is inequality important?

General practice holds a key position in the healthcare system when it comes to inequality. At the Research Unit for General Practice, a research group is dedicated to exploring health inequalities.

The expertise spans across specific diseases, paying special attention to the understanding of inequality and methods to study health inequality. A shared objective is creating research that may help reduce adverse health effects of inequality. The group embraces both the social gradient and vulnerability in patients. A particular research focus is the vulnerability seen in general practice.

The group conducts research in geographical inequality caused by the ‘inverse care law’, as the availability of good medical care tends to vary inversely with the need of the population; those with the greatest needs have the fewest healthcare resources available. Here, general practice is a crucial factor.

Health inequalities are caused by multiple factors requiring action in many different areas, including childcare, education, housing and work. When social position determines the risk of becoming ill or recovering, we need to establish how we may best organise healthcare and collaborate across sectors.

The research of the group is based on both qualitative and quantitative research methods within medicine, epidemiology, anthropology and psychology.

The research group collaborates closely with international groups in all areas of healthcare.




  • Contact and disease patterns in general practice
  • Escape from inequity in health
  • Improving continuity of health care for vulnerable populations: a Danish perspective on the digital health record ‘HealthEmove’
  • Social inequality in medical treatment (PhD project)
  • Prevalence of critical illness among socially disadvantaged people in Denmark
  • Understanding how the inverse care law operates in a Danish general practice setting