High socio-economic level improves health, says study.
The study-conducted at the University of Granada- has also demonstrated that having higher education, having a job, and the per capita income and welfare in the region of residence are other protective factors against chronic diseases.
In addition, it revealed the potential long-term effects that socio-economic inequalities have on the health of the population at regional level, and the relevance of family when it comes to assess how social inequalities affect population's health.
Kristina Karlsdotter, at the Department of Applied Economics, conducted the study under the supervision of professors Jose Jesus Martín Martín and María del Puerto Lopez del Amo Gonzalez.
To carry out this study, the researchers used data from two surveys conducted in Spain: the 2007 Survey on Living Conditions, performed by the Spanish National Statistics Institute, and the 2001 Longitudinal Database of the Andalusian Population conducted by the Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia and the Spanish National Research Council.
The researchers found that the individual income of a person "is positively associated with a good health status".
Additionally, education level is statistically associated with health status: the higher the education level, the better the health of the individual according to several health variables: perceived health status -the perception that an individual has on his/her own health status- presence of chronic diseases, and the risk of been granted a temporary/permanent disability pension.
This study also reveals the influence of family environment on an individual's health status. Thus, over 30percent of variations in an individual's health status are caused by their family environment.
Social relationships are another protective factor against disease, but only in women.
The authors of this study affirm that the results obtained "are relevant for the design of policies aimed at reducing health inequalities in Spain.
The association between health status and the geographical (Autonomous Community, province, city, district) and family environment is very innovative, as well as the association between health status and income and social inequalities.