Objectives: Social capital has been linked to self rated health and mortality rates. The authors examined the relations between measures of social capital and male/female mortality rates across counties in Hungary.
Design: Cross sectional, ecological study.
Setting: 20 counties of Hungary.
Participants and methods: 12 640 people were interviewed in 1995 (the “Hungarostudy II” survey), representing the Hungarian population according to sex, age, and county. Social capital was measured by three indicators: lack of social trust, reciprocity between citizens, and help received from civil organisations. Covariates included county GDP, personal income, education, unemployment, smoking, and alcohol spirit consumption.
Main outcome measure: Gender specific mortality rates were calculated for the middle aged population (45–64 years) in the 20 counties of Hungary.
Results: All of the social capital variables were significantly associated with middle age mortality, but levels of mistrust showed the strongest association. Several gender differences were observed, namely male mortality rates were more closely associated with lack of help from civic organisations, while female mortality rates were more closely connected with perceptions of reciprocity.
Conclusion: There are gender differences in the relations of specific social capital indicators to mortality rates. At the same time, perceptions of social capital within each sex were associated with mortality rates in the opposite sex.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Funding: this study was supported by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) project no HUN/00/002/A/01/99, and the National Research Fund (OTKA) projects no TO-25477 (1998), T-29067 (1999), T-32974 (2000) and NKFP 1/002/2001.
Conflicts of interest: none.