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Ir Med J. 2007 Sep;100(8):suppl 43-6.

Influence on self-rated health of socio-demographic, lifestyle and affluence factors: an analysis of the Irish and International Health Behaviours Among School-Aged Children (HBSC) datasets 1998.

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  • 1UCD School of Public Health and Population Science, Woodview House, Belfield, Dublin 4.


In this analysis we employed the International Health Behaviour Among School Aged Children (HBSC) 1998 data, comprising 8326 Irish children and 115,327 children in the International dataset, to examine influences on self reported health among young people. Factors were similar for both boys and girls and between countries. Daily smokers, those reporting intoxication at least once, those taking infrequent exercise and those reporting difficulty in making friends were all predictive of poor self-rated health in adjusted odds ratio models. Disposable means, as measured by the Family Affluence Score was also a significant predictor of self-rated health but not as influential as reported lifestyle. In a multi-level between country comparison of 15 OECD countries, individual health behaviours explained much, but not all of the variability in poor self reported health (0.26, SE 0.08), and of various ecological level indicators considered in the final model only % voting and % males with minimum 2nd level of male education in the population were influential factors, with between-country variations still not fully explained (0.10, SE 0.03).

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