Objective: To examine if there are systematic differences in the predictors of self-rated health (SRH) and to examine the relationship between SRH and health care utilization across socioeconomic groups.
Study design and setting: We used cross-sectional data from the Canadian Community Health Survey linked to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (N=17,109). We examined relative differences in the factors associated with different levels of SRH across socioeconomic groups (as assessed by education and household income) using probit models separately for men and women. We then examined differences in expected health care costs, as assessed by adjusted clinical group weights using administrative health care records, between socioeconomic groups within the same level of SRH.
Results: We found limited differences across the predictive ability of a broad range of physical, mental, health service/care utilization, and health behavior variables on SRH across socioeconomic groups. In addition, no differences were found in the expected health care utilization costs across socioeconomic groups within the same level of SRH.
Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that SRH assesses a broad variety of factors, including physical health status, mental health status, health service/care utilization, and health behaviors, relatively equally across socioeconomic groups, measured as either education or income.
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