chapter  11
14 Pages

Socioeconomic Influences on Depression and Morbidity in the Hungarian Population in the Context of PostCommunist Modernization

Perhaps the most important public health finding over the last decade has been that socioeconomic influences constitute a major health risk factor in the developed countries. When the mortality and morbidity figures are corrected for traditional risk factors like smoking, obesity, and lack of exercise, it has been shown that socioeconomic deprivation is a much greater risk factor (Marmot et al., 1987; Slater et al., 1985; Wiley & Comacho, 1986). Although at the individual level a person’s attitudes and values toward his or her health are strongly determined by interpersonal and mass-mediated influences, at the

population level the health status of the population is most closely related to the societal structure (their relative socioeconomic status within their society). For example, in Britain, the typical skilled or unskilled worker who did not attend college will die several years younger than a college graduate even if the laborer does not smoke or drink more

FIG. 11.1. Mortality rates per 1,000 persons between 1970 and 1996.