Economic, housing conditions and health of the oldest in Italy: evidence from EU-SILC

Anna De Pascale, University of Rome
Elisabetta Santarelli

Economic and demographic factors are key correlates of health status in old age. It is known from the literature the strong positive relation between socioeconomic status and health and also between economic status and housing (the richer you are, the more comfortable your house is). However, little is known about the link between housing and health. This is particularly true in Italy, where there has been an interest to estimate the influence of economic conditions on health, but no attention was devoted to the association between housing and health. In this paper we explore the interconnections among all these elements. We hypothesize that associations among individual economic status, housing and health can vary according to the living arrangement: people living alone are more likely to have scarce economic conditions and deprived houses that people living in households, so that their risk of bad health could be higher (and vice versa). In this work we focus on economic, housing and health conditions of people aged 65 or over in Italy. To this aim we use data from the new Eurostat project on Income and Living Conditions, EU-SILC, wave 2006. The survey provides information on economic resources, working conditions, incomes and housing status of all surveyed individuals. We firstly build a housing deprivation index to summarize the housing dimensions that can affect individual health status. Then, such index is included, among other covariates on economic conditions, in a logistic model where we test our hypotheses separately for individuals living alone and in a household. Our first results show that better economic status and good house quality are associated with a good health (and vice versa). Furthermore, living arrangements seem to matter and modify the link between economic conditions, housing and health.

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Presented in Poster Session 2