Individual-level changes in self-rated health before and during the economic crisis in Europe
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OriginalversjonAbebe, D. S., Tøge, A. G., & Dahl, E. (2016). Individual-level changes in self-rated health before and during the economic crisis in Europe. International journal for equity in health, 15(1), 1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12939-015-0290-8
Background: Changes over time in self-rated health (SRH) are increasingly documented during the current economic crisis, though whether these are due to selection, causation, or methodological artefacts is unclear. This study accordingly investigates changes in SRH, and social inequalities in these changes, before and during the economic crisis in 23 European countries. Methods: We used balanced panel data, 2005–2011, from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC). We included the working-age population (25–60 years old) living in 23 European countries. The data cover 65,618 respondents, 2005–2007 (pre-recession cohort), and 43,188 respondents, 2008–2011 (recession cohort). The data analyses used mixed-effects ordinal logistic regression models considering the degree of recession (i.e., pre, mild, and severe). Results: Individual-level changes in SRH over time indicted a stable trend during the pre-recession period, while a significant increasing trend in fair and poor SRH was found in the mild- and severe-recession cohorts. Micro-level demographic and socio-economic status (SES) factors (i.e., age, gender, education, and transitions to employment/unemployment), and macro-level factors such as welfare generosity are significantly associated with SRH trends across the degrees of recession. Conclusions: The current economic crisis accounts for an increasing trend in fair and poor SRH among the general working-age population of Europe. Despite the general SES inequalities in SRH, the health of vulnerable groups has been affected the same way before and during the current