English title: The social determinants of inequalities in self-reported health in Europe: findings from the European social survey (2014) special module on the social determinants of health

Author(s): Mirza Balaj - Courtney L. Mcnamara - T.A. Eikemo - C. Bambra -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2017


Background: Health inequalities persist between and within European countries. Such inequalities are usually explained by health behaviours and according to the conditions in which people work and live. However, little is known about the relative contribution of these factors to health inequalities in European countries. This paper aims to investigate the independent and joint contribution of a comprehensive set of behavioural, occupational and living conditions factors in explaining social inequalities in self-rated health (SRH). Method: Data from 21 countries was obtained from the 2014 European Social Survey and examined for respondents aged 25–75. Adjusted rate differences (ARD) and adjusted rate risks (ARR), generated from binary logistic regression models, were used to measure health inequalities in SRH and the contribution of behavioural, occupational and living conditions factors. Result: Absolute and relative inequalities in SRH were found in all countries and the magnitude of socio-economic inequalities varied considerably between countries. While factors were found to differentially contribute to the explanation of educational inequalities in different European countries, occupational and living conditions factors emerged as the leading causes of inequalities across most of the countries, contributing both independently and jointly with behavioural factors. Conclusion: The observed shared effects of different factors to health inequalities points to the interdependent nature of occupational, behavioural and living conditions factors. Tackling health inequalities should be a concentred effort that goes beyond interventions focused on single factors.

Volume: 27

Issue: 1

From page no: 107

To page no: 114

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1093/EURPUB/CKW217

Journal: European Journal of Public Health

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