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Health Differences Between European Countries
Olsen, Karen M.
Article from Journal - ilmiah internasional
Social Science & Medicine (www.elsevier.com/locate/sosscimed) vol. 64 no. 8 (Apr. 2007)
Individual and societal effects
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This paper examines self-reported health among individuals in 21 European countries. The purpose is to analyze how both individual- and country-level characteristics influence health. The study is based on data from the European Social Survey (ESS) conducted in 2003 and employs hierarchical modelling (N=38,472). We present three main findings: (1) individual-level characteristics, such as age, education, economic satisfaction, social network, unemployment, and occupational status are related to the health of individuals, both for women and men; (2) we tested how societal features, such as public expenditure on health, socioeconomic development, lifestyle, and social capital (social trust) were related to subjective health. Among the country-level characteristics, socioeconomic development, measured as GDP per capita (logarithm), is the indicator that is most strongly associated with better health, after controlling for individual-level characteristics; (3) the eastern European countries stand out as the countries where individuals report the poorest health. In our models, the individual-level variables explain 60% of the variance between countries, whereas 40% is explained by the macro-level variables.
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