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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

Listed author(s):
  • Desesquelles, Aline F.
  • Egidi, Viviana
  • Salvatore, Michele A.

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.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0277-9536(08)00681-3
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
Issue (Month): 6 (March)
Pages: 1124-1128

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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:68:y:2009:i:6:p:1124-1128
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
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