To compare self-perceived health in relation to socioeconomic factors in Estonia and Finland.
This study was based on the 25-69 year old adult population of the European Social Survey, conducted in Estonia and in Finland in 2006. Self-perceived health was rated on the five-point scale as very good, good, fair, poor, and very poor. The socioeconomic position was measured by the level of education, economic activity, and self-rated financial situation. Logistic regression analysis was applied to assess the association between self-perceived health and the socioeconomic factors.
The prevalence of less-than-good health was significantly higher in Estonia than in Finland. Significant associations with less-than-good self-perceived health were found for less educated, economically non-active respondents with poorer self-rated financial situation in both countries. After adjustment, economic non-activity among women and self-rated financial situation among men appeared not to be associated with less-than-good self-perceived health in Finland.
Self-perceived health was poorer in Estonia than in Finland, but Estonia shares with Finland a similar socioeconomic pattern of health. Further research is needed to monitor socioeconomic variations in health behaviour and mortality in both countries.