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SENIOR LECTURER Public Health
( School of Health and Welfare )
Social inequalities in self-rated health : A comparative cross-national study among 32,560 Nordic adolescents
Torsheim, Torbjørn, Nygren, Jens M., Rasmussen, Mette, Arnarsson, Arsæll M., Bendtsen, Pernille, Schnohr, Christina W., Nielsen, Line, Nyholm, Maria
Article in journal (Refereegranskat)
AIMS: We aimed to estimate the magnitude of socioeconomic inequality in self-rated health among Nordic adolescents (aged 11, 13 and 15 years) using the Family Affluence Scale (a composite measure of material assets) and perceived family wealth as indicators of socioeconomic status.
METHODS: Data were collected from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) survey in 2013-2014. A sample of 32,560 adolescents from Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland, Greenland and Sweden was included in the study. Age-adjusted regression analyses were used to estimate associations between fair or poor self-rated health and the ridit scores for family affluence and perceived wealth.
RESULTS: The pooled relative index of inequality of 2.10 indicates that the risk of fair or poor health was about twice as high for young people with the lowest family affluence relative to those with the highest family affluence. The relative index of inequality for observed family affluence was highest in Denmark and lowest in Norway. For perceived family wealth, the pooled relative index of inequality of 3.99 indicates that the risk of fair or poor health was about four times as high for young people with the lowest perceived family wealth relative to those with the highest perceived family wealth. The relative index of inequality for perceived family wealth was highest in Iceland and lowest in Greenland.
CONCLUSIONS: Social inequality in self-rated health among adolescents was found to be robust across subjective and objective indicators of family affluence in the Nordic welfare states. © Author(s) 2017
Key words: Adolescents; Family Affluence Scale; Health Behaviour in School-aged Children; Nordic region; comparative study; perceived socioeconomic status; self-rated health