Preface Peter M.A. Calverley In January 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave an address to Congress in which he outlined four basic freedoms that he believed all people everywhere had a right to expect freedom of speech, freedom to pursue their religious beliefs, freedom from fear and freedom from want. These freedoms became the basis of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and much subsequent legislation that is at the core of international law today. In concluding his address, Roosevelt hoped that these freedoms could be achieved within his own time. Sadly, he was mistaken. Substantial differences still exist within and between countries, which have an enormous impact on the health and well-being of their inhabitants. It is no surprise that these socioeconomic differences influence the health of the less affluent, wherever they live, and that the burden of respiratory illness is particularly great in this group. Respiratory physicians have known for decades that TB is especially prevalent among society’s poorest people and that tobacco smoking shows a similar social gradient. However, until now, there has been no easy resource that summarises the multiple impacts of poor air quality, adverse health behaviours and economic disadvantage on respiratory health. This gap has been filled by the ambitious and wide-ranging chapters presented in this issue of the ERS Monograph. Led by Ian P. Sinha, Alice Lee, S. Vittal Katikireddi and Jennifer K. Quint have gathered together a group of distinguished international contributors and rising stars in the field of health inequalities. Together they have provided new and relevant insights into the way inequalities in many settings influence the prevalence and character of respiratory health. The result is a highly original and informative volume that provides an insight into the global challenge of improving respiratory health. Whether you dip in and out or read the volume through sequentially, you are sure to learn a lot and widen your horizons in the process. Disclosures: P.M.A. Calverley reports receiving grants, personal fees and non-financial support from pharmaceutical companies that make medicines to treat respiratory disease. This includes reimbursement for educational activities and advisory work, and support to attend meetings. Copyright ©ERS 2023. Print ISBN: 978-1-84984-157-3. Online ISBN: 978-1-84984-158-0. Print ISSN: 2312-508X. Online ISSN: 2312-5098. vii
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