The objective of this study was to determine the strength of various socio-economic indicators for predicting less than good health among elderly people aged 60-79 years. Data were obtained from national health surveys from 10 European countries. Education, income and housing tenure were examined in relation to less than good health using standardised prevalence rates and (multiple) logistic regression analyses. The results illustrated that there are substantial health differences among the elderly according to education and income in each country. Both education and income (with men) showed a strong independent relationship with health status. Health differences according to housing tenure were generally somewhat smaller. However, in Great Britain and the Netherlands housing tenure demonstrated large health differences, even after adjustment for education and income. It is recommended that more refined socio-economic measures are developed and that in the meantime both education and income are used when studying socio-economic health differences among the elderly. In some countries, like Great Britain and the Netherlands, however, housing tenure has an additional value.

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Social Science & Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Dalstra, J.A.A, Kunst, A.E, & Mackenbach, J.P. (2006). A comparative appraisal of the relationship of education, income and housing tenure with less than good health among the elderly in Europe. Social Science & Medicine, 62(8), 2046–2060. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2005.09.001