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Determinants of self-rated health in women: a population-based study in Armavir Marz, Armenia, 2001 & 2004

Author(s): Demirchyan Anahit | Thompson Michael

Journal: International Journal for Equity in Health
ISSN 1475-9276

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 25;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Abstract Background The former soviet Republic of Armenia entered a turbulent and long-lasting economic transition when it declared its independence in 1991. This analysis sought to identify the determinants of poor self-rated health as an indirect measure of health status and mortality prognosis in an adult female population during a period of socio-economic transition in Armenia. Methods Differences in self-rated health in women respondents were analyzed along three main dimensions: social, behavioral/attitudinal, and psychological. The data used were generated from cross-sectional household health surveys conducted in Armavir marz in 2001 and 2004. The surveys utilized the same instruments and study design (probability proportional to size, multistage cluster sampling with a combination of interviewer-administered and self-administered surveys) and generated two independent samples of households representative of Armavir marz. Binary logistic regression models with self-rated health as the outcome were fitted to the 2001 and 2004 datasets and a combined 2001/2004 dataset. Results Overall, 2 038 women aged 18 and over participated in the two surveys (1 019 in each). The rate of perceived "poor" health was relatively high in both surveys: 38.1% in 2001 and 27.0% in 2004. The sets of independent predictors of poor self-rated health were similar in all three models and included severe and moderate material deprivation, probable and possible depression, low level of education, and having ever smoked. These predictors mediated the effect of women's economic activity (including unemployment), ethnicity, low access to/utilization of healthcare services, and living alone on self-rated health. Conclusion Material deprivation was the most influential predictor of self-rated health. Thus, social reforms to decrease the gap between the rich and poor are recommended as a powerful tool for reducing health inequalities and improving the health status of the population.
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