Relative Deprivation, Poor Health Habits, and Mortality

Publication Date:
Jan 2001
Project Programs:
Social, Political, and Economic Inequality

Using individual-level on males data from the 1988-1991 National Health Interview Survey Multiple Cause of Death Files, we examine the impact of relative deprivation within a reference group on health. We use measures of relative deprivation based on Yitzhaki’s index and define reference groups using combinations of state, race, education, and age. Those with high relative deprivation have a higher probability of death, are more likely to self-report poor health, have high blood pressure or disabilities, and have a host of poor health habits including smoking, not wearing safety belts, high body mass index and not exercising.


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