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Education and health in 22 European countries

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  • von dem Knesebeck, Olaf
  • Verde, Pablo E.
  • Dragano, Nico

Abstract

This study investigates educational health inequalities in 22 European countries. Moreover, age and gender differences in the association between education and health are analysed. The study uses data from the European Social Survey 2003. Probability sampling from all private residents aged 15 years and older was applied in all countries. The European Social Survey includes 42,359 cases. Persons under age 25 were excluded to minimise the number of respondents whose education was not complete. Education was coded according to the International Standard Classification of Education. Self-rated health and functional limitations were used as health indicators. Results of multiple logistic regression analyses show that people with low education (lower secondary or less) have elevated risks of poor self-rated health and functional limitations. Inequalities are relatively small in Austria, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, large inequalities were found for Hungary, Poland, and Portugal. Analyses of age differences reveal that health effects of education are stronger at ages 25-55 than in the higher age groups. However, age differences in the education-health association vary between countries, sexes, and health indicators. In conclusion, our results confirm that educational inequalities in health are a generalised though not invariant phenomenon. Variations between countries, sexes and health indicators might be one explanation for the inconsistent results of other studies on age differences in the association between socioeconomic position and health.

Suggested Citation

  • von dem Knesebeck, Olaf & Verde, Pablo E. & Dragano, Nico, 2006. "Education and health in 22 European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1344-1351, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:63:y:2006:i:5:p:1344-1351
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eikemo, Terje Andreas & Bambra, Clare & Judge, Ken & Ringdal, Kristen, 2008. "Welfare state regimes and differences in self-perceived health in Europe: A multilevel analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(11), pages 2281-2295, June.
    2. repec:spr:ijphth:v:63:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00038-017-1045-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Athina Economou & Ioannis Theodossiou, 2011. "Poor And Sick: Estimating The Relationship Between Household Income And Health," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 57(3), pages 395-411, September.
    4. Haining Wang & Zhiming Cheng & Russell Smyth, 2016. "Language, Health Outcomes and Health Inequality," Monash Economics Working Papers 43-16, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    5. Tarja Nieminen & Tuija Martelin & Seppo Koskinen & Hillevi Aro & Erkki Alanen & Markku Hyyppä, 2010. "Social capital as a determinant of self-rated health and psychological well-being," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 55(6), pages 531-542, December.
    6. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Cecily Kelleher & Caroline Kenny, 2007. "The Determinants of Self-Rated Health in the Republic of Ireland Further Evidence and Future Directions," Working Papers 200741, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    7. Liliya Leopold & Henriette Engelhartdt, 2013. "Education and physical health trajectories in old age. Evidence from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(1), pages 23-31, February.
    8. repec:spr:jsecdv:v:19:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40847-017-0039-x is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Matthew J. Easterbrook & Toon Kuppens & Antony S. R. Manstead, 2016. "The Education Effect: Higher Educational Qualifications are Robustly Associated with Beneficial Personal and Socio-political Outcomes," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(3), pages 1261-1298, April.
    10. Skalická, Vera & Kunst, Anton E., 2008. "Effects of spouses' socioeconomic characteristics on mortality among men and women in a Norwegian longitudinal study," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 66(9), pages 2035-2047, May.
    11. Elena Pirani & Silvana Salvini, 2012. "Socioeconomic Inequalities and Self-Rated Health: A Multilevel Study of Italian Elderly," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer;Southern Demographic Association (SDA), vol. 31(1), pages 97-117, February.

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