Impact of socio-economic status on self-assessed health in developing and developed countries and for men and women

Jeroen van Ginneken, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)
George Groenewold, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

There is lack of information on impact of socio-economic status on adult mortality and morbidity in less developed countries (LDCs) and on differences by sex. We aim to fill part of this gap by focusing on data on self-assessed health (as one aspect of morbidity) and use data collected by the World Health Survey in 16 countries in 2002. Half of the selected countries are from Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa and half from West and East Europe. In all LDCs and MDCs self-assessed health of women was on average worse than of men. Differences were in several LDCs smaller than in MDCs. In all countries there was a significant impact of wealth status and education on age-adjusted health. The relationship was in several LDCs stronger than in MDCs. We will study this relationship in more detail applying techniques to minimize bias in measurement of self-assessed health.

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Presented in Session 202: Measuring mortality differentials by SES and gender in developing countries. A methodological challenge