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Socio-economic influences on self-rated health in Russian men and women--a life course approach


  • Nicholson, Amanda
  • Bobak, Martin
  • Murphy, Michael
  • Rose, Richard
  • Marmot, Michael


Socio-economic differentials in health in Russia are not well understood and the life course approach has been relatively neglected. This paper examines the influence of socio-economic risk factors over the life course on the self-rated health of older Russian men and women. A random sample (response rate 61%) of the general population of the Russian Federation in 2002 included 1004 men and 1930 women aged 50 years and over in a cross-sectional study. They provided information concerning their childhood circumstances, including going to bed hungry; education; current social conditions, including per capita household income; health behaviours and self-rated health. There was considerable tracking of adverse social conditions across the life course with men and women who reported hunger in childhood having lower educational achievements, and current household income was strongly influenced by educational attainment. The effect of these socio-economic risk factors on health accumulated with an odds ratio of poor health of 1.87 [1.07-3.28] for men with one risk factor, 3.64 [2.13-6.22] for two risk factors and 4.51 [2.57-7.91] for all three compared to men with no risk factors. For women, the odds ratios were 1.44 [1.05-2.01], 2.88 [2.10-3.93] and 4.27 [3.03-6.00] for one, two and three risk factors, respectively. Current income was the strongest individual predictor for men, and education for women. Adjustment for health behaviours reduced the odds ratios only marginally. The results suggest that self-rated health in older Russians reflects social exposures accumulated over the life course, with the differentials observed only partially explained by current social conditions. Health behaviours were not involved in mediating social differences in self-rated health. Our results indicate that a life course approach may contribute to the understanding of health in Russia.

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  • Nicholson, Amanda & Bobak, Martin & Murphy, Michael & Rose, Richard & Marmot, Michael, 2005. "Socio-economic influences on self-rated health in Russian men and women--a life course approach," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(11), pages 2345-2354, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:11:p:2345-2354

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manderbacka, Kristiina & Lundberg, Olle & Martikainen, Pekka, 1999. "Do risk factors and health behaviours contribute to self-ratings of health?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(12), pages 1713-1720, June.
    2. Bobak, Martin & Pikhart, Hynek & Rose, Richard & Hertzman, Clyde & Marmot, Michael, 2000. "Socioeconomic factors, material inequalities, and perceived control in self-rated health: cross-sectional data from seven post-communist countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1343-1350, November.
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    6. Carlson, Per, 1998. "Self-perceived health in East and West Europe: another European health divide," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 46(10), pages 1355-1366, March.
    7. Carlson, Per, 2000. "Educational differences in self-rated health during the Russian transition. Evidence from Taganrog 1993-1994," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 51(9), pages 1363-1374, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lyytikäinen, Laura & Kemppainen, Teemu, 2016. "Regional inequalities in self-rated health in Russia: What is the role of social and economic capital?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 92-99.
    2. Glei, Dana A. & Goldman, Noreen & Shkolnikov, Vladimir M. & Jdanov, Dmitri & Shalnova, Svetlana & Shkolnikova, Maria & Weinstein, Maxine, 2013. "To what extent do biomarkers account for the large social disparities in health in Moscow?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 164-172.
    3. repec:ipf:psejou:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:85-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Lee, Miaw-Chwen & Huang, Nicole, 2015. "Changes in self-perceived economic satisfaction and mortality at old ages: Evidence from a survey of middle-aged and elderly adults in Taiwan," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 1-8.
    5. Habibov, Nazim N. & Afandi, Elvin N., 2011. "Self-rated health and social capital in transitional countries: Multilevel analysis of comparative surveys in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(7), pages 1193-1204, April.
    6. Bakshi, Sanjeev & Pathak, Prasanta, 2010. "What makes them feel healthier? the correlates of self-perceived health among older adults in India," MPRA Paper 40541, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Yount, Kathryn M. & Hoddinott, John & Stein, Aryeh D., 2010. "Disability and self-rated health among older women and men in rural Guatemala: The role of obesity and chronic conditions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(8), pages 1418-1427, October.
    8. Elwell-Sutton, Timothy M. & Jiang, Chao Qiang & Zhang, Wei Sen & Cheng, Kar Keung & Lam, Tai Hing & Leung, Gabriel M. & Schooling, C.M., 2011. "Socioeconomic influences at different life stages on health in Guangzhou, China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(11), pages 1884-1892, June.
    9. Furnée, Carina A. & Pfann, Gerard A., 2010. "Individual vulnerability and the nurturing state: The case of self-reported health and relative income," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 125-133, July.
    10. Loretta G. Platts, 2015. "A prospective analysis of labour market status and self-rated health in the UK and Russia," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 23(2), pages 343-370, April.
    11. Firat Bilgel & Burhan Can Karahasan, 2017. "Self-Rated Health and Primary Care Utilization: Is Selection into Healthcare Endogenously Determined?," Working Papers 1079, Economic Research Forum, revised 04 Jun 2017.


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