Health Disadvantage and Educational Level in European Welfare States: Longitudinal Results from the SHARE Study

Mauricio Avendano pabon, Harvard School of Public Health
Hendrik Juerges, University of Mannheim
Johan P. Mackenbach, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam

Socioeconomic status is associated with health in many European populations, but the magnitude and pathways of this association may vary across countries. In this paper, we use longitudinal data to explore the impact of educational level on changes in health among Europeans aged 50+ in 11 countries, controlling for potential confounders and mediators. Our analyses are performed separately for Northern, Western and Southern Europe, as these regions broadly represent different welfare state regimes. We find that lower education is associated with higher incidence of poor self-rated health, chronic diseases and disability, but it is less consistently associated with new events of longstanding illness. After controlling for educational differences in wealth, income, consumption, health behaviours, labour force status and baseline health, the impact of educational level on health transitions remains significant for most outcomes in Western and Southern Europe, but it is substantially attenuated and non-significant after adjustment in Northern Europe.

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Presented in Session 111: Socioeconomic Differentials in Health and Mortality