Are area-level and individual-level socioeconomic factors associated with self-rated health in adult urban citizens? Evidence from Slovak and Dutch cities

Martina Behanova*, Sijmen A. Reijneveld, Iveta Nagyova, Zuzana Katreniakova, Erik J. C. van Ameijden, Henriette Dijkshoorn, Jitse P. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Background: Evidence shows that living in disadvantaged areas is associated with poor health. This may be due to the socioeconomic (SE) characteristics of both these residents and the areas where they live. Evidence regarding this on Central European (CE) countries is scarce. Our aim was to assess whether the prevalence of poor self-rated health (SRH) was higher in deprived urban areas, whether this can be explained by individual SE status (SES) and whether this differed between Slovakia and the Netherlands per age group.

Methods: We examined the association of urban-level data and individual-level SE factors from different urban areas in different countries (Slovakia, the Netherlands) using comparable urban health indicators and area indicators. We also obtained unique data from the EU-FP7 EURO-URHIS 2 project.

Results: Multilevel logistic regression showed that poor SRH was associated with area deprivation in both countries. Regarding age by country, poor SRH occurred more frequently in the more deprived areas for the younger age group (>= 64) in the Netherlands but for the older age group (>= 65 years) in Slovakia. Moreover, Slovak citizens reported poor SRH significantly more often than Dutch residents. Individual SES was significantly associated with poor SRH in both age groups and both countries for most area-level SE measures.

Conclusion: Individual SES is associated with SRH more strongly than area deprivation. Therefore, it is important to account for relative deprivation at an individual level when considering health-enhancing activities. Moreover, the effect of urban-area deprivation seems to differ between CE and WE countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue numbers2
Publication statusPublished - 1-May-2017



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