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01.12.2015 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2015 Open Access

BMC Public Health 1/2015

Impact of socioeconomic status and subjective social class on overall and health-related quality of life

BMC Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2015
Jae-Hyun Kim, Eun-Cheol Park
Wichtige Hinweise

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

Acquisition of data, conceived and designed the experiments: JHK Performed the experiments: JHK, ECP Analyzed the data: JHK, ECP Wrote the manuscript: JHK. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Our objective was to investigate the impact of socioeconomic status and subjective social class on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) vs. overall quality of life (QOL).


We performed a longitudinal analysis using data regarding 8250 individuals drawn from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA). We analyzed differences between HRQOL and QOL in individuals of various socioeconomic strata (high, middle, or low household income and education levels) and subjective social classes (high, middle, or low) at baseline (2009).


Individuals with low household incomes and of low subjective social class had the highest probability of reporting discrepant HRQOL and QOL scores (B: 4.796; P < 0.0001), whereas individuals with high household incomes and high subjective social class had the lowest probability of discrepant HRQOL and QOL scores (B: −3.625; P = 0.000). Similar trends were seen when education was used as a proxy for socioeconomic status.


In conclusion, both household income/subjective social class and education/subjective social class were found to have an impact on the degree of divergence between QOL and HRQOL. Therefore, in designing interventions, socioeconomic inequalities should be taken into account through the use of multi-dimensional measurement tools.
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