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Revista Española de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 2173-9110Print version ISSN 1135-5727


CALZON FERNANDEZ, Silvia; FERNANDEZ AJURIA, Alberto; LOPEZ DEL AMO GONZALEZ, María del Puerto  and  MARTIN MARTIN, José Jesús. Sex Differences of Perceived Health before and During the Economic Crisis (2007 and 2011). Spain. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 2017, vol.91, 201702019.  Epub Feb 16, 2017. ISSN 2173-9110.


Several studies show the association between economic crisis, unemployment and health income. However, it is necessary to differentiate their impact according to gender. The objective of this study was to analyze the differential effect that the economic crisis, unemployment and income may had on the perceived health of men and women in Spain.


A cross-sectional study was conducted combining data from the 2007 and 2011 Living Conditions Surveys, which collect data from 43,900 adult individuals up to 65 years of age. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed, for the whole population as for each sex. The dependent variable was perceived health and the independent variables were income level, employment status, education level, chronic illness, and the year in which the survey was performed.


Perceived health improved over the period under consideration, from 75.1% in 2007 to 83%,0 in 2011. Unemployment significantly increased the chances of reporting perceived bad health in men [OR=1.45; CI95%:1.26-1.67] but not in women [OR=1.20; CI95%:0.99-1.47]. ORs of perceived bad health were higher for women than for men in the lower income bracket [OR: 1.81; IC95%1,56-2,11 against 1.70; IC95%:1,46-1,97]. 2011 was related to a lower probability of poor perceived health in both men [OR=0.41, CI95%: 0.37-0.46] and women [OR=0.39 ; CI95%:0.35-0.44].


The association of the economic crisis with perceived health was similar in men and women. Unemployment was a risk factor for perceived bad health in the case of men. Available income, education level, and the presence of chronic illness had a larger influence as determinants of perceived bad health for women than they did for men.

Keywords : Unemployment; Sex; Spain; Social health determinants; Economic recession; Policy economic; Factors Economic; Women’s Health; Men; Sex distribution; Bias Gender; Sexism; Health surveys.

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