Income Inequality, Household Income, and Health Status in Canada: A Prospective Cohort Study
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OBJECTIVES: This study sought to determine whether income inequality, household income, and their interaction are associated with health status. METHODS: Income inequality and area income measures were linked to data on household income and individual characteristics from the 1994 Canadian National Population Health Survey and to data on self-reported health status from the 1994, 1996, and 1998 survey waves. RESULTS: Income inequality was not associated with health status. Low household income was consistently associated with poor health. The combination of low household income and residence in a metropolitan area with less income inequality was associated with poorer health status than was residence in an area with more income inequality. CONCLUSIONS: Household income, but not income inequality, appears to explain some of the differences in health status among Canadians.
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