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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(3), 747-761; doi:10.3390/ijerph10030747
Article

The Impact of Socio-Economic Status on Self-Rated Health: Study of 29 Countries Using European Social Surveys (2002–2008)

1,* , 1
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1 Department of Social Work and Social Policy, Universidad Loyola Andalucia, Seville 41014, Spain 2 Department of Management and Quantitative Methods, Universidad Loyola Andalucia, Cordoba 14004, Spain 3 Centre for Disability Research and Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney 2141, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 January 2013 / Revised: 8 February 2013 / Accepted: 20 February 2013 / Published: 25 February 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social and Economical Determinants of Health)
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Abstract

Studies show that the association between socio-economic status (SES) and self-rated health (SRH) varies in different countries, however there are not many country-comparisons that examine this relationship over time. The objective of the present study is to determine the effect of three SES measures on SRH in 29 countries according to findings in European Social Surveys (2002–2008), in order to study how socio-economic inequalities can vary our subjective state of health. In line with previous studies, income inequalities seem to be greater not only in Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries, but especially in Eastern European countries. The impact of education is greater in Southern countries, and this effect is similar in Eastern and Scandinavian countries, although occupational status does not produce significant differences in southern countries. This study shows the general relevance of socio-educational factors on SRH. Individual economic conditions are obviously a basic factor contributing to a good state of health, but education could be even more relevant to preserve it. In this sense, policies should not only aim at reducing income inequalities, but should also further the education of people who are in risk of social exclusion.
Keywords: European countries; self-rated health (SRH); socio-economic status (SES); health inequalities; education European countries; self-rated health (SRH); socio-economic status (SES); health inequalities; education
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Alvarez-Galvez, J.; Rodero-Cosano, M.L.; Motrico, E.; Salinas-Perez, J.A.; Garcia-Alonso, C.; Salvador-Carulla, L. The Impact of Socio-Economic Status on Self-Rated Health: Study of 29 Countries Using European Social Surveys (2002–2008). Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 747-761.

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