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Preventive Care Use among the Belgian Elderly Population: Does Socio-Economic Status Matter?
Department of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, Antwerp 2610, Belgium
Scientific Institute of Public Health, Julliette Wytsmanstraat 14, Brussels 1050, Belgium
Social Security Research Group, Federal Planning Bureau, Kunstlaan 47-49, Brussels 1000, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2013; in revised form: 13 December 2013 / Accepted: 14 December 2013 / Published: 24 December 2013
Abstract: Objective: To analyze the association between influenza and pneumococcus vaccination and blood cholesterol and blood sugar measurement by Belgian elderly respondents (≥65 years) and socio-demographic characteristics, risk factors, health status and socio-economic status (SES). Methods: A cross-sectional study based on 4,544 non-institutionalized elderly participants of the Belgian Health Interview Surveys 2004 and 2008. Multivariate logistic regression models were constructed to examine the independent effect of socio-demographic characteristics, risk factors, health status and SES on the four preventive services. Results: After adjustment for age, sex, region, survey year, living situation, risk factors (body mass index, smoking status, physical activity) and health status (self-assessed health and longstanding illness) lower educated elderly were significantly less likely to report a blood cholesterol and blood sugar measurement. For instance, elderly participants with no degree or only primary education were less likely to have had a cholesterol and blood sugar measurement compared with those with higher education. Pneumococcus vaccination was not related to educational level, but lower income groups were more likely to have had a pneumococcus immunization. Influenza vaccination was not significantly related to SES. Conclusion: The results highlight the need to promote cholesterol and blood sugar measurement for lower SE groups, and pneumococcus immunization for the entire elderly population. Influenza immunization seems to be equally spread among different SE groups.
Keywords: preventive care; socioeconomic status; elderly population; Belgium
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Hoeck, S.; Van der Heyden, J.; Geerts, J.; Van Hal, G. Preventive Care Use among the Belgian Elderly Population: Does Socio-Economic Status Matter? Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 355-372.
Hoeck S, Van der Heyden J, Geerts J, Van Hal G. Preventive Care Use among the Belgian Elderly Population: Does Socio-Economic Status Matter? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2014; 11(1):355-372.
Hoeck, Sarah; Van der Heyden, Johan; Geerts, Joanna; Van Hal, Guido. 2014. "Preventive Care Use among the Belgian Elderly Population: Does Socio-Economic Status Matter?" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 11, no. 1: 355-372.