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Why do Italian people rate their health worse than French people do? An exploration of cross-country differentials of self-rated health

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  • Desesquelles, Aline F.
  • Egidi, Viviana
  • Salvatore, Michele A.

Abstract

The prevalence of bad self-rated health (SRH) varies considerably across countries. Here we present the results of a cross-national comparative study based on the data of National Health Surveys conducted in France and Italy. According to these data, 11% of the Italian and 6% of the French adult population aged between 45 and 74 rate their health as bad or very bad. This gap may result from differences in population structure regarding the individual characteristics (sociodemographic characteristics, diseases and disabilities, lifestyle, and others) that impact on SRH i.e., a structural effect. It may also be that the link between these characteristics and SRH is "country-specific" i.e., a contextual effect. We use logistic regression models to assess the contribution of both explanations. We find that the structural effect plays a prominent role in the higher prevalence of bad SRH in Italy compared to France.

Suggested Citation

  • Desesquelles, Aline F. & Egidi, Viviana & Salvatore, Michele A., 2009. "Why do Italian people rate their health worse than French people do? An exploration of cross-country differentials of self-rated health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(6), pages 1124-1128, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:6:p:1124-1128
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2003:93:2:318-323_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:8:1187-1193_6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Fýlkesnes, Knut & Førde, Olav Helge, 1992. "Determinants and dimensions involved in self-evaluation of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 271-279, August.
    4. Denton, Margaret & Walters, Vivienne, 1999. "Gender differences in structural and behavioral determinants of health: an analysis of the social production of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(9), pages 1221-1235, May.
    5. Subramanian, S. V. & Kawachi, Ichiro & Kennedy, Bruce P., 2001. "Does the state you live in make a difference? Multilevel analysis of self-rated health in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 9-19, July.
    6. Martikainen, Pekka & Aromaa, Arpo & Heliövaara, Markku & Klaukka, Timo & Knekt, Paul & Maatela, Jouni & Lahelma, Eero, 1999. "Reliability of perceived health by sex and age," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(8), pages 1117-1122, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ipf:psejou:v:41:y:2017:i:1:p:85-108 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Aline Désesquelles, 2012. "Self-Rated Health of French prison inmates : measurement and comparison with other health indicators," Working Papers 178, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED).
    3. Jylhä, Marja, 2009. "What is self-rated health and why does it predict mortality? Towards a unified conceptual model," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 307-316, August.
    4. George Ploubidis & Emily Grundy, 2011. "Health Measurement in Population Surveys: Combining Information from Self-reported and Observer-Measured Health Indicators," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 699-724, May.

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