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Journal Article


McElroy B, Walsh E. BMC Public Health 2023; 23(1): e2203.


(Copyright © 2023, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group - BMC)






BACKGROUND: This study examines the prevalence of and socio-economic inequalities in depressive symptoms in nine high-income European countries, focusing in particular on the role of housing quality.

METHODS: Using the European Social Survey, a concentration index of depressive symptoms in each country is estimated. The role of housing quality is assessed by examining the risk factors associated with the concentration index, using the Recentred Influence Function method. To contextualise the housing quality results, other predictors of inequalities in depressive symptoms inequalities are also quantified and discussed.

RESULTS: Our results indicate that inequalities in depressive symptoms are concentrated among poorer respondents both in each country and in total. Austria and Belgium have the lowest inequalities and France has the highest. No geographic pattern is evident. Housing problems are associated with higher inequalities in six of the nine countries in the sample. While no association is evident for indicators of socio-economic status such as years of education and income, financial strain is significant.

CONCLUSIONS: This study is the first to estimate the degree of socio-economic inequality in depressive symptoms across European countries. The association between poor housing and poorer inequalities suggests that housing has a role to play lowering depressive symptoms inequalities.

Language: en


Depression; Health inequalities; Concentration index; Housing quality; SDG10 reduced inequalities.; SDG3 good health and well-being


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