Social inequalities regarding health and health behaviour in Austrian adults.

Institute of Social Medicine and Epidemiology, Medical University Graz, Universitaetsplatz 6/I, 8010, Graz, Austria.
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift (Impact Factor: 0.79). 04/2012; 124(7-8):256-61. DOI: 10.1007/s00508-012-0164-7
Source: PubMed

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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