Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Social variation in self-rated health in Estonia: a cross-sectional study


Author Info

  • Leinsalu, Mall
Registered author(s):


    Over the past 40 years Estonia has experienced similar developments in mortality to other former Soviet countries. The stagnation in overall mortality has been caused mainly by increasing adult mortality. However, less is known about the social variation in health. This study examines differences in self-rated health by eight main dimensions of the social structure on the basis of the Estonian Health Interview Survey, carried out in 1996/1997. A multistage random sample (n=4711) of the Estonian population aged 15-79 was interviewed; the response rate was 78.3%. This study includes those respondents aged 25-79 (n=4011) with analyses being performed separately for men and women. The study revealed that a low educational level, Russian nationality, low personal income and for men only, rural residence were the most influential factors underlying poor health. Education had the biggest independent effect on health ratings: for women with less than an upper secondary education the odds of having poor health were almost fourfold (OR=3.88) when compared to those with a university education, and for men these odds were almost two and a half times (OR=2.32). Material resources, in this study measured by personal income, were important factors in explaining some of the educational and ethnic differences (especially for Russian women) in poor self-rated health. Overall, we found no differences between men and women in their health ratings. On the contrary, when we controlled for physical health status, emotional distress and locus of control women reported better health than men. Health selection contributed to, but did not explain the differences by structural dimension. This study also showed a strong association of poor self-rated health with three correlates--physical health status, emotional distress and locus of control, although the influence of these correlates on poor health ratings was not seen equally in the different structural dimensions.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 55 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 5 (September)
    Pages: 847-861

    as in new window
    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:55:y:2002:i:5:p:847-861

    Contact details of provider:
    Web page:

    Order Information:

    Related research

    Keywords: Emotional distress Estonia Health selection Locus of control Physical health Self-rated health Social structure;


    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as in new window

    Cited by:
    1. Wiktoria Wróblewska, 2012. "Nierówności społeczne w stanie zdrowia w Polsce – analiza na podstawie samooceny stanu zdrowia oraz poziomu wykształcenia," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 28, pages 65-84.
    2. Ivan Cipin & Sime Smolic, 2013. "Socio-Economic Determinants of Health in Croatia: Insights from Four Cross-Sectional Surveys," Croatian Economic Survey, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb, vol. 15(1), pages 25-60, April.
    3. Wiktoria Wróblewska, 2010. "Stan zdrowia w Polsce - rola czynników ekonomiczno-spo³ecznych i stylu zycia.Ocena na podstawie wskaŸnika SRH i PAR," Working Papers 22, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    4. Cem Mete, 2008. "Economic Implications of Chronic Illness and Disability : In Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6538, July.


    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.


    Access and download statistics


    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:55:y:2002:i:5:p:847-861. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.