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Inequalities in self-rated health: an analysis of the Brazilian and Portuguese populations

Alice Teles de Carvalho Deborah Carvalho Malta Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros Pedro Nuno Ferreira Pinto de Oliveira Denisa Maria de Melo Vasques Mendonça Henrique Barros About the authors


The aim of this study was to analyze the prevalence of poor self-rated health according to socio-demographic variables and the presence of chronic diseases in the populations of Brazil and Portugal. A total of 13,894 individuals ≥ 30 years of age were studied in capitals in Northeast Brazil (VIGITEL 2011) and 20,579 in Portugal (4th NHI, 2005/2006). Poisson regression was used in both analyses of associations, adjusted by covariates. Net prevalence rates of poor health in men in Northeast Brazil and Portugal were 4.3% and 15.5%. Prevalence ratio was 2.72 (95%CI: 2.70-2.75) after standardization by age bracket. In women, prevalence was 8.1% in Northeast Brazil and 25.1% in Portugal (PR: 2.40; 95%CI: 2.39-2.42). The variable that showed the worst inequalities in poor self-rated health was schooling, in both Brazil and Portugal. Current disease had a stronger effect on Brazilians than on Portuguese, in both men and women. Prevalence of poor self-rated health was significantly higher in Portugal in all the groups analyzed.

Self-Assessment; Health Inequalities; Health Surveys

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