Socio-economic gradients in self-reported health in Ireland and Nothern Ireland

D. O'Reilly*, K. J. Thompson, A. W. Murphy, G. Bury, A. Gilliland, A. Kelly, T. O'Dowd, K. Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
160 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Research and policy related to reducing health inequalities has progressed separately within Ireland and Northern Ireland. This paper describes the first exploration of the socio-economic influences on health on the island of Ireland since 1922. Methods: Postal survey. Results: The response rate was 52%; 11,870 respondents. Men reported more long-standing illness (LLTI) or poor general health (PGH); depression was more common amongst women. Socio-economic gradients in health were evident in both jurisdictions, with the effects of household income being particularly marked. Overall, morbidity levels were significantly better in Ireland than in Northern Ireland: adjusted odds ratio of 0.79 (95% CI 0.71- 0.88) for LLTI; 0.64 (0.57-0.72) for PCH; 0.90 (0.82-0.99) for depression. Conclusions: There is evidence of strong and similar socio-economic gradients in health throughout the island of Ireland. This would suggest joint policy approaches or at least further comparative evaluation of the initiatives in each jurisdiction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-51
Number of pages9
JournalIrish journal of medical science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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