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Title: Poverty, income and health over time : a study of the British Household Panel Survey 1991-2000
Author: McCrae, M. J.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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The objectives of the study were to determine the importance of average income levels for health and compare relationships with past and present income; to examine the effects of occasional and sustained poverty on health and inequalities in health; to consider the importance of persistence of income level for health and the influence of changes in income on health; and to examine the role of socioeconomic circumstances in the income, change and health relationship.  Data on adult individuals were derived from the British Household Panel Survey 1991-2000. Relationships with general, physical and mental health, and physical and social functioning were analysed, using measures such as self rated general health, General Health questionnaire (GHQ12), limiting illness, and Short Form 36 physical functioning, social functioning and mental health. Measures of income level and change and poverty experience over 10 years were developed and applied. A socioeconomic model of health was adopted to consider the role of initial health and childhood socioeconomic circumstances, smoking, social networks and community influences, socioeconomic position and living and working conditions in the income and health relationship. Average income levels were strongly associated with health, a relationship more important for health than past or present income. Poverty was associated with health by length of poverty experience. Health inequalities were largest between those in sustained poverty and the most affluent. The persistence of income level was important for health. Changes in income over ten years were associated with health and functional status, although relationships between rises and falls in income over shorter periods were less certain. Socioeconomic factors only partially explained income inequalities in health. Relationships between poverty, income and health are more fully understood through analysis of panel data, where the significance of poverty and income level over time and the magnitude of health inequalities become apparent.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available