Background: The aim of this study is to analyse gender inequalities in the relationship between family demands and health in working and cohabiting population. Methods: A total of 9108 men and women aged 25 to 64 years who were employed and cohabiting were selected from the 2006 National Health Survey of Spain. Outcome variables were self-perceived health status, mental health, daily sleeping hours and leisure time sedentarism. Explanatory variables were household size, living with children <15 years, living with adults between 65 and 74 years, living with adults >74 years and having a hired person for housework. Multivariate logistic regression models were fitted, stratified by gender and social class and adjusted for age. Results: Household size was related to poor self-perceived health status, poor mental health and leisure time sedentarism in both men and women manual workers. Moreover, it was also related to sleeping 6 h or less a day amog manual worker women. Having a hired person for housework was protective for self-perceived health status in both men and women. Conclusion: Family demands are mainly related to manual workers' health, among both men and women. Whereas the association between family demands and poor health status among women could be explained by their greater housework and caregiver demands compared with men, among men, given their role as the main breadwinner in the home, it could be due to financial problems. The relationship between family demands and health should be studied in a combined framework of gender and social class.
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