Socio-economic differences in patterns of health and oral health behaviour in 25 year old Norwegians
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The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis of multidimensionality of oral and general health behaviour. To evaluate the proposed behavioural dimensions, relationships with individual beliefs and socio-economic factors were explored. A simple random sample of 1190 residents born in 1972 was drawn from the populations of three counties in western Norway in February 1997. A questionnaire was mailed to the eligible sample . After one reminder, 735 subjects (58% women) replied. Principal component analysis (PCA) provided two factors, which accounted for 32.5% of the variance among the behavioural variables. One-way analysis of variance revealed significant, inverse relationships between two sum scores of health enhancing and health detrimental behaviour derived from the factors; socio-economic variables and perceived vulnerability. Controlling for gender, multiple logistic regression analyses revealed significant relationships between health enhancing behaviour and occupational status (non-manual versus student, OR=0.6, 95% CI 0.4–0.8) and perceived vulnerability (OR=2.2, 95% CI 1.5–3.0). Occupational status (manual versus student OR=1.8 95% CI 1.2–2.6 and non-manual versus student OR=1.4 95% CI 1.0–2.1) turned out to be the strongest predictor of health detrimental behaviour. The present results indicate that oral and general health behaviour reflects two distinct behavioural domains. This appears to imply that oral and general health behaviour should be approached jointly in health promotion lifestyle programmes and that the lower socio-economic status groups should be targeted.
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