Socioeconomic inequalities in the quality of life of older Europeans in different welfare regimes

Niedzwiedz, C. L. , Katikireddi, S. V. , Pell, J. and Mitchell, R. (2014) Socioeconomic inequalities in the quality of life of older Europeans in different welfare regimes. European Journal of Public Health, 24(3), pp. 364-370. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/cku017)

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Abstract

Background: Whether socioeconomic inequalities in health and well-being persist into old age and are narrower in more generous welfare states is debated. We investigated the magnitude of socioeconomic inequality in the quality of life of Europeans in early old age and the influence of the welfare regime type on these relationships.<p></p> Methods: Data from individuals aged 50–75 years (n = 16 074) residing in 13 European countries were derived from Waves 2 and 3 of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Slope indices of inequality (SIIs) were calculated for the association between socioeconomic position and CASP-12, a measure of positive quality of life. Multilevel linear regression was used to assess the overall relationship between socioeconomic position and quality of life, using interaction terms to investigate the influence of the type of welfare regime (Southern, Scandinavian, Post-communist or Bismarckian).<p></p> Results: Socioeconomic inequalities in quality of life were narrowest in the Scandinavian and Bismarckian regimes, and were largest by measures of current wealth. Compared with the Scandinavian welfare regime, where narrow inequalities in quality of life by education level were found in both men (SII = 0.02, 95% CI: −1.09 to 1.13) and women (SII = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.05–2.17), the difference in quality of life between the least and most educated was particularly wide in Southern and Post-communist regimes.<p></p> Conclusion: Individuals in more generous welfare regimes experienced higher levels of quality of life, as well as narrower socioeconomic inequalities in quality of life.<p></p>

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Katikireddi, Dr Srinivasa and Mitchell, Professor Richard and Pell, Professor Jill and Niedzwiedz, Dr Claire
Authors: Niedzwiedz, C. L., Katikireddi, S. V., Pell, J., and Mitchell, R.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Public Health
Journal Name:European Journal of Public Health
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:1101-1262
ISSN (Online):1464-360X
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 The Authors
First Published:First published in European Journal of Public Health 24(3):364-370
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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