As socio-economic status (SES) strongly reflects individual economic status, evaluating the association between SES and health could provide information that is important for planning integrated economic and public health policies. We examined the association between annual household income as a measure of SES and the eight scale scores of the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) as a quantifier of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in Japan. Study design. Cross-sectional survey. Methods. Data were from the SF-3 6 national survey in Japan. A total of 4500 people aged 16 years or older were selected from the entire population of Japan using stratified-random sampling, and 3395 responded to the survey. Results. Men with lower levels of annual household income had lower scores in all SF-36 domains. However, only "general health perceptions" and "social functioning" showed statistically significant trends among the women surveyed. In the subgroup of women working full-time, there were no domains that showed significant trends. Conclusions. A strong association exists between annual household income and SF-36 scores among men, but there is only a limited association among women. The employment and economic policies that affect annual household income potentially influence HRQOL.
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