Introduction Little is known about the relationship between socioeconomic factors and self-reported health in developing countries such as Iran. As part of a large study on health perception in Iran this relationship was investigated.
Methods This was a nationwide cross sectional study. A random sample of individuals aged between 18 and 65 were entered into the study. Respondents were asked to rate their own present health status on a 5-point scale. The record of demographic and socioeconomic data included age, gender, education, marital status, employment, income, place of residence, and chronic diseases. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate ORs and 95% CIs for indicating of the contributing factors to self-reported health.
Results In all 27 883 individuals were studied. The mean age of the respondents was 32.7 (SD=11.8) years, 71.5% rated their health as good or better than good while the remaining 28.5% indicated their health less than good and poor. The findings showed that in addition to some demographic variables, the most contributing factors to poor self-rated health were: income [OR=2.81 for lower income], and presence of chronic diseases [OR=7.6, 95% CI 6.8 to 7.9]. Living in smaller towns was found to contribute to a better self-reported health [OR=0.89, p=0.01].
Conclusion The findings indicated that there were inverse relationships between self-reported health and socioeconomic and ecological factors. The results suggest that social determinants of health play an important role in people's evaluation of their own health status. Policies need to address these concerns.
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