Effect of low income on health-related quality of life: a cross-sectional study in northeast China

Asia Pac J Public Health. 2015 Mar;27(2):NP1013-25. doi: 10.1177/1010539513496839. Epub 2013 Oct 4.


Following the dramatic socioeconomic transition since the 1980s in China, some people became unemployed and experienced a significant drop in income. The aim of this study was to assess the effects of low income on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) among the population in northeast China. A total of 5100 individuals in northeast China were randomly sampled and investigated using the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) from November 2005 to October 2006. According to the monthly per capita income level, the population was divided into different groups for analysis. Multiple linear regressions showed that low income, older age, disease, and unemployment were the important factors that could lead to worse HRQOL. Covariance analysis showed that there were significant differences in HRQOL scores among the subgroups of the low-income population. When the income level increased, HRQOL scores improved. This study could provide valuable information for planning integrated economic and public health policies to improve the health of people living in poverty.

Keywords: China; SF-36; health-related quality of life; income.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • China / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / statistics & numerical data*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors