Socioeconomic differences in self-assessed health in a chronically ill population: The role of different health aspects

JG Simon*, H van de Mheen, JBW van der Meer, JP Mackenbach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We investigated the role that different health aspects play in the explanation of socioeconomic differences in self-assessed health. Socioeconomic differences in self-assessed health were investigated in relation to chronic disease, functional limitations psychosomatic symptoms, and perceived discomfort/distress. In multiple logistic regression analyses, for three cutoff points of self-assessed health, significant socioeconomic differences in self-assessed health could be observed after adjusting for age and gender. After separate adjustment for each of the four health aspects, the analyses showed that for a health assessment as less-than-good and less-than-fair, psychosomatic symptoms were the most powerful explanatory factor. Perceived discomfort/distress proved to be the most powerful factor for a poor health assessment. We found that socioeconomic differences in self-assessed health could, to a large extent (72-80%), be explained through socioeconomic differences in the prevalence of the four types of health problems included in the study. For all cutoff points, objective health aspects accounted for a relatively small part of the socioeconomic variability in self-assessed health. More subjective aspects of health accounted for more of the variability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-420
JournalJournal of Behavioral Medicine
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • self-assessed health
  • socioeconomic differences
  • chronic disease
  • functional limitations
  • psychosomatic symptoms
  • perceived discomfort/distress
  • RATED HEALTH
  • PERCEIVED HEALTH
  • DETERMINANTS
  • INEQUALITIES
  • PREDICTORS
  • CHALLENGE
  • APPRAISAL
  • MORTALITY
  • WOMEN
  • MEN

Cite this