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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(11), 14329-14341;

Social and Physical Environments and Self-Rated Health in Urban and Rural Communities in Korea

Department of Health Management, Graduate School, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, Korea
Department of Health and Medical Information, Myongji College, Seoul 120-776, Korea
Department of Big Data Steering, National Health Insurance Service, Seoul 121-749, Korea
Department of Health Education and Management, College of Health Sciences, Ewha Womans University, Seoul 120-750, Korea
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 29 July 2015 / Revised: 10 October 2015 / Accepted: 5 November 2015 / Published: 12 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior and Public Health)
Full-Text   |   PDF [683 KB, uploaded 12 November 2015]


This study evaluated the associations between social and physical environments and self-rated health (SRH) for urban and rural Korean adults, using data from the Korean Community Health Survey (KCHS) of 199,790 participants (115,454 urban and 84,336 rural). The main dependent variable was SRH, while the primary independent variables were social and physical characteristics. Urban residents reported better SRH than did rural residents. Five social environmental variables (trust of neighbors, residence in the area for over 20 years, exchanging help with neighbors, friend and fellowship activities, contact with relatives and neighbors over five times per month) were more prevalent among rural residents. Satisfaction with physical environment was more common among rural residents, but satisfaction with traffic and healthcare facilities was more common among urban areas. After adjusting for relevant factors, positive associations between SRH and trust of neighbors, exchanging help with neighbors, participation in social activities or organizations, and physical environment existed in both rural and urban populations. Also, in both areas, there was no demonstrated association between SRH and years of residence or frequency of contact with relatives. Our findings suggest the existence of an association between social and physical factors and perceived health status among the general population of Korea. View Full-Text
Keywords: social and physical environment; SRH; urban; rural social and physical environment; SRH; urban; rural
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 (CC BY 4.0).

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Lee, J.-A.; Park, J.H.; Kim, M. Social and Physical Environments and Self-Rated Health in Urban and Rural Communities in Korea. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 14329-14341.

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