IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Social class and self-rated health: can the gradient be explained by differences in life style or work environment?

  • Borg, Vilhelm
  • Kristensen, Tage S.
Registered author(s):

    The purpose of the present paper is to describe differences in work environment and life style factors between social classes in Denmark and to investigate to what extent these factors can explain social class differences with regard to changes in self-rated health (SRH) over a 5 year period. We used data from a prospective study of a random sample of 5001 Danish employees, 18-59 years of age, interviewed at baseline in 1990 and again in 1995. At baseline we found higher prevalence in the lower classes of repetitive work, low skill discretion, low influence at work, high job insecurity, and ergonomic, physical, chemical, and climatic exposures. High psychological demands and conflicts at work were more prevalent in the higher classes. With regard to life style factors, we found more obese people and more smokers among the lower classes. The proportion with poor SRH increased with decreasing social class at baseline. The follow-up analyses showed a clear association between social class and worsening of SRH: The lower the social class, the higher the proportion with deterioration of SRH. There was no social gradient with regard to improved SRH over time. Approximately two thirds of the social gradient with regard to worsening of SRH could be explained by the work environment and life style factors. The largest contribution came from the work environment factors.

    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.

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

    Volume (Year): 51 (2000)
    Issue (Month): 7 (October)
    Pages: 1019-1030

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:7:p:1019-1030
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

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

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

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:51:y:2000:i:7:p:1019-1030. 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.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.