Although Australia is a country cited as having generally low health inequalities among different socioeconomic groups, inequalities have persisted. The aim of this analysis was to highlight how inequalities have evolved over a 13 years period in South Australia (SA).
Since 2002, over 600 interviews per month have been undertaken with SA residents through a computer assisted telephone survey method (total 77,000+). Major risk factors and chronic diseases have been analyzed providing trends by two socio-economic variables: education and a proxy of income (ability to save).
While income and educational gaps are reducing over time in SA, those that remain in the lower socio-economic groups have a generally higher prevalence of risk factors and chronic diseases. The health disparity gap is still relevant, although at a different extent, for all the variables considered in our study, with most appearing to be stable if not increasing over time.
Surveillance can be a good source of information both to show the evolution of problems and to evaluate possible future interventions. Extensive effort is still required to “close the gap” of health inequalities in SA. More precisely targeted and properly implemented interventions are needed.