Assessing the socio-economic and demographic impact on health-related quality of life: evidence from Greece
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The impact of socioeconomic status on health has been extensively studied and studies have shown that low socio-economic status is related to lower values of various health and quality-of-health measures. The aim of this study was to assess the influence of demographic and socio-economic factors on health- related quality of life (HRQoL).
A cross-sectional study was carried out in 2003 using a representative sample of a Greek general population (n = 1007, 18+ years old), living in Athens area. Multivariate stepwise linear regression analyses were performed to investigate the influence of socio-demographic and economic variables on HRQoL, measured by eight scales of the SF-36. Interaction effects between socioeconomic status (SES) and demographic variables were also performed
Females and elderly people were associated with impaired HRQoL in all SF-36 scales. Disadvantaged SES i. e. primary education and low total household income was related to important decline in HRQoL and a similar relation was identified among men and women. Only the interaction effects between age and SES was statistically significant for some SF-36 scales. Multiple regression analyses produced models explaining significant portions of the variance in SF-36 scales, especially physical functioning.
The analysis presented here gives evidence of a relationship existing between SES and HRQoL similar to what has been found elsewhere. In order to protect people from the damaging effects of poverty in health it is important to formulate health promotion educational programs or to direct policies to empower the disposable income etc. Helping people in disadvantaged SES to achieve the good health that people in more advantaged SES attained would help to prevent the widening of health inequalities.
Keywords:Socioeconomic groups HRQoL SF-36 questionnaire health differences Greece
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