Introduction Socioeconomic factors might play important roles in developing psychological distress. As part of a large study on health perception in Iran the relationship between anxiety and socioeconomic factors 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 anxiety on a 5-point scale. The record of demographic and socioeconomic data included age, gender, education, marital status, employment, income, and chronic diseases. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate ORs for contributing factors to self-reported anxiety.
Results In all 27 883 individuals took part in the study. The mean age of the respondents was 32.7 (SD=11.8) years. Overall 20.1% reported that they were very or very much anxious. The results obtained from logistic regression analysis showed that females [OR =1.52], lower income groups [OR for lowest income group =1.53], having at least one chronic disease [OR =1.27], and those with lower self-reported health [OR for lowest group =5.12], were more likely to suffer from poor mental health.
Conclusion The findings indicated that there were inverse relationships between anxiety, income and self-reported health. The contribution of income to psychological distress might be explained in the context of social determinants of health.