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Deprivation is associated with worse physical and mental health beyond income poverty: a population-based household survey among Chinese adults

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2127-2135
Number of pages9
JournalQuality of Life Research
Volume27
Issue number8
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 25 Apr 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Aug 2018

Abstract

Purpose: In studying health inequality, poverty as measured by income is frequently used; however, this omits the aspects of non-monetary resources and social barriers to achieving improved living standard. Therefore, our study aimed to examine the associations of individual-level deprivation of material and social necessities with general physical and mental health beyond that of income poverty. Methods: A territory-wide two-stage stratified random sample of 2282 community-dwelling Hong Kong adults was surveyed between 2014 and 2015. Income poverty and a Deprivation Index were used as the main independent variables. General health was assessed using the validated 12-item Short-Form Health Survey version 2, from which physical component summary and mental component summary were derived. Results: Our results in multivariable ordinal logistic regressions consistently showed that, after adjusting for income poverty, socio-demographic and lifestyle factors, being deprived was significantly associated with worse physical (OR 1.66; CI 1.25–2.20) and mental health (OR 1.83; CI 1.43–2.35). Being income poor was also significantly associated with worse mental health (OR 1.63; CI 1.28–2.09) but only marginally with physical health (OR 1.34; CI 1.00–1.80) after adjustments. Conclusions: Income does not capture all aspects of poverty that are associated with adverse health outcomes. Deprivation of non-monetary resources has an independent effect on general health above and beyond the effect of income poverty. Policies should move beyond endowment and take into account the multidimensionality of poverty, in order to address the problem of health inequality.

    Research areas

  • Chinese adults, Deprivation, Hong Kong, Mental health, Physical health, Poverty

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