I obtained my master’s degree in Sociology at the VUB in 2023. Currently, I am researching social inequalities in mortality associated with neurodegeneration. My PhD is part of the INEQKILL-project.
Forgotten inequality: social disparities in mortality associated with neurodegeneration, a population-based study in Belgium
Worldwide, population is ageing, leading to a growing burden of neurodegenerative diseases (NDDs) such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). There is consistent evidence of a negative association between socioeconomic position (SEP) and indicators of mortality and morbidity. Yet, less is known about this association between SEP and NDD mortality. Relatively few studies are available on this association, and results often remain inconsistent. Studying social determinants in NDDs is crucial in understanding and developing preventive interventions for these diseases. This research therefore aims to offer a comprehensive framework on the relationship between SEP and mortality associated with major NDDs in Belgium since the 1990s. To objectify this aim, a quantitative analysis of the relation between SEP and deaths associated with dementia, parkinsonism and motor neuron disease will be performed. Data will be derived from record linkage between the 1991/2001/2011 censuses and data on all-cause and cause-specific mortality during 1991-2021. Such exhaustive individual data are quite unique; only Nordic countries dispose of equally comprehensive data on a nationwide scale. Results will be triangulated, and time framed through a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with neurologists.