Objective: This article investigates whether the presence of residents in precarious work situations influences the self rated health of the people living in the same household.
Methods: The study is based on the National Household Survey (PNAD) carried out in 1998 (n=85,384) and 2003 (n=89,063) by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics. These samples included all individuals aged 15 years and over, who lived in large metropolitan regions of Brazil. The effects at individual and household levels were estimated by the generalized estimation equations (GEE).
Results: At the individual level, poor self rated health was inversely associated with schooling and positively associated with female sex, older age, informal work, unemployment and not economically active. Living in households with at least one informal or unemployed worker was positively associated with poor self rated health, regardless of individual factors and socio-economic characteristics of the household both in 1998 (informal work: OR=1.09;95%CI:1.06-1.12; unemployment: OR=1.08; 95%CI: 1.04-1.13), and in 2003 (informal work: OR=1.06;95%CI:1.03-1.10; unemployment: OR=1.10; 95%CI: 1.05-1.15).
Conclusion: These results suggest that unemployment and/or informal work have a contextual impact on the self rated health of household dwellers. They add to the hypothesis that adverse conditions in the labor market and their impact on the health of both individuals and groups are relevant in understanding inequalities in health.