Social inequalities regarding health and health behaviour in Austrian adults.
ABSTRACT Studies have shown that people of a low socioeconomic status (SES) show worse health and health behaviour as well as a higher mortality rate than subjects with a high SES. Studies concerning the association between mortality and SES in Austrian adults have been conducted before, but not regarding specific variables which have an influence on mortality. Therefore the aim of our study was to investigate whether Austrian adults with a high versus low SES differ concerning ill health, health-related behaviour, quality of life as well as use of medical care. Data of 12,892 subjects from the Austrian Health Interview Survey (ATHIS) 2006/2007 were analysed concerning these outcomes. Subjects with low SES differ significantly from those with high SES in terms of health behaviour (e.g. eating behaviour, physical activity) and quality of life. They report significantly more diseases (e.g. cardiac infarction) and use health services more often. Low SES has a strong negative impact on health in Austrian adults. Therefore, in Austria a continued strong public health programme is required with absolute priority on low-SES groups.
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ABSTRACT: The prevalence of being overweight and of obesity is increasing worldwide, and is associated with a high risk to health. Therefore, the aim of our study was to investigate whether normal weight, overweight and obese subjects of low, middle or high socioeconomic status (SES) differ with regard to their health behavior, health, quality of life, and the use of medical care. Data from the Austrian Health Interview Survey (ATHIS) 2006/07, comprising 3 groups of 1,077 individuals, each of whom were normal weight, overweight, or obese, respectively, and matched according to their age, sex and SES, were analyzed concerning health outcomes. The results show that subjects with a low SES differ significantly from those of high SES in terms of their health behavior, self-perceived health, levels of impairment, chronic conditions, quality of life, and health care. Additionally, obesity in adults is associated with sub-optimal dietary practices and worse health, poorer quality of life and medical care than normal weight and overweight individuals. A significant interaction between the weight class and SES was found concerning physical exercise, impairment due to health problems and chronic diseases. A low SES has a strong negative impact on health, especially in obese individuals. Therefore a continuous target group-oriented, non-discriminatory public health program is required, prioritizing obese subjects with low SES.PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e65407. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Population-based studies have consistently shown that our diet has an influence on health. Therefore, the aim of our study was to analyze differences between different dietary habit groups in terms of health-related variables. The sample used for this cross-sectional study was taken from the Austrian Health Interview Survey AT-HIS 2006/07. In a first step, subjects were matched according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). After matching, the total number of subjects included in the analysis was 1320 (N = 330 for each form of diet - vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat). Analyses of variance were conducted controlling for lifestyle factors in the following domains: health (self-assessed health, impairment, number of chronic conditions, vascular risk), health care (medical treatment, vaccinations, preventive check-ups), and quality of life. In addition, differences concerning the presence of 18 chronic conditions were analyzed by means of Chi-square tests. Overall, 76.4% of all subjects were female. 40.0% of the individuals were younger than 30 years, 35.4% between 30 and 49 years, and 24.0% older than 50 years. 30.3% of the subjects had a low SES, 48.8% a middle one, and 20.9% had a high SES. Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption. Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life. Therefore, public health programs are needed in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.PLoS ONE 02/2014; 9(2):e88278. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: INTRODUCTION: Regular physical activity leads to a number of physiological benefits, such as reduced risk of coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus and obesity. In Austria, there is little information about the prevalence of physically inactive people, as well as about who is more likely to belong to the inactive or irregularly active groups. The aim of this study is to describe the socio-demographic distributions across the stages of behavioural change for moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity, according to the Transtheoretical Model, and to identify associations with smoking and body mass index (BMI). METHOD: Data were collected in a standardised procedure using a self-report questionnaire from 489 adults who attended a health check in an outpatient clinic in southern Austria. Height and weight were measured by physicians. The subjects were categorised into the five stages of change (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance), separately assessed for moderate- and vigorous-intensity physical activity. RESULTS: The likelihood of being in the stage of maintenance of moderate-intensity physical activity was highest in older subjects (p < 0.05). Participants of a high educational level showed the highest likelihood of being physically active in vigorous-intensity physical activity (p < 0.05). Furthermore, the lowest stages of change behaviour were associated with higher BMI levels for vigorous-intensity physical activity (p < 0.05). Smokers were significantly (p < 0.05) more likely not to perform vigorous-intensity physical activity than non-smokers. CONCLUSION: Our findings contribute to a better understanding of behavioural correlates of regular physical activity. The results may prove useful for developing promotion programmes for physical activity, allowing targeting of the identified risk groups.Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 04/2013; 125(9-10). · 0.79 Impact Factor