Impact of self-reported bank fraud on self-rated health, comorbidity and pain

  • Belén Sanz-BarberoEmail author
  • Ana Rico Gómez
  • Alba Ayala
  • Patricia Recio
  • Encarnación Sarriá
  • Manuel Díaz-Olalla
  • María Victoria Zunzunegui
Original article



As reported in other high-income countries, around the 2008 Great Recession the Spanish banking sector engaged abusive practices that satisfy the definition of fraud. Our objective is to examine the association between self-reported bank fraud and physical health, using a gender perspective.


With data from the 2017 Madrid Health Survey, we examined the association between the economic impact of fraud and poor self-rated health (SRH), comorbidity and pain (N = 4425). Interactions of time since fraud and sex with economic impact were tested by Poisson regression models with robust variance.


In total, 11% of adults in Madrid reported bank fraud since 2006. Among men, those who experienced frauds with severe economic impact were more likely to report adverse health than those who did not experience fraud (PR comorbidity: 1.46; PR pain conditions: 2.17). Among men time elapsed since fraud strengthened the association between severe economic impact and poor SRH (p = 0.022; p = 0.006, respectively). Among women, associations did not reach statistical significance.


Bank frauds are an emerging phenomenon which is likely to damage public health. Stricter regulation to protect people from fraudulent bank practices is needed.


Financial fraud Self-rated health Stressful live events Spain 



We thank the Foundation Finance and Health (FINSALUD) who provided the first hypothesis to this study as well as give us access to the questionnaire of the pilot study conducted by Zunzunegui collaborators. We thank Madrid Salud, City Council of Madrid, for agreeing to include in the questionnaire “Madrid Health Survey, 2017” the questions about bank fraud that have allowed us to carry out this investigation.


This study was funded by IMIENS – Joint Research Institute National Distance Education University and Institute of Health Carlos III (Grant Number IMIENS 2017-002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The Ethics Committee of the Institute of Health Carlos III approved this secondary data analysis project (Reference Number CEI PI 51_2017_v2) dated September 4, 2017.

Supplementary material

38_2019_1312_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 31 kb)


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Belén Sanz-Barbero
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • Ana Rico Gómez
    • 1
  • Alba Ayala
    • 1
  • Patricia Recio
    • 3
    • 4
  • Encarnación Sarriá
    • 3
    • 4
  • Manuel Díaz-Olalla
    • 5
  • María Victoria Zunzunegui
    • 1
  1. 1.National School of Public HealthInstitute of Health Carlos IIIMadridSpain
  2. 2.CIBER of Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP)MadridSpain
  3. 3.Joint Research Institute National Distance Education University and Health Institute Carlos III (IMIENS)MadridSpain
  4. 4.National Distance Education University (UNED)MadridSpain
  5. 5.Institute of Public HealthMadrid Salud, City Council of MadridMadridSpain

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