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Effect of voting abstention and life course socioeconomic position on self-reported health
  1. O A Arah1,2
  1. 1
    Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2
    Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health, Los Angeles, California, USA
  1. Dr O A Arah, Department of Social Medicine, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, PO Box 22700, 1100 DE Amsterdam, The Netherlands; o.a.arah{at}

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There is increasing evidence, mostly at the ecological level, that voting patterns affect health.14 Poor political participation harms health, and poor health hampers political participation.14 Unlike previous work, this study analyses the effect of individual life course socioeconomic position (SEP) and voting abstention (as an indicator of political participation) on self-reported individual health.

Methods and results

Using data from the National Child Development Study (NCDS) of a cohort born in a single week in Britain in March 1958, the outcome variable was defined as self-reported fair/poor general health (reference: excellent/good) in 1981, 1991, 2000 and 2004.5 Voting abstention was a binary measure of whether respondents participated (0) …

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  • Funding: This work was supported by a Rubicon fellowship (grant 825.06.026) awarded by the Board of the Council for Earth and Life Sciences (ALW) of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The funder had no influence on the design, analysis, and interpretation of (and the decision to submit) this work.

  • Competing interests: None.