Using the 1996 Community Tracking Study household survey, the authors examined whether income inequality and primary care, measured at the state level, predict individual morbidity as measured by self-rated health status, while adjusting for potentially confounding individual variables. Their results indicate that distributions of income and primary care within states are significantly associated with individuals' self-rated health; that there is a gradient effect of income inequality on self-rated health; and that individuals living in states with a higher ratio of primary care physician to population are more likely to report good health than those living in states with a lower such ratio. From a policy perspective, improvement in individuals' health is likely to require a multi-pronged approach that addresses individual socioeconomic determinants of health, social and economic policies that affect income distribution, and a strengthening of the primary care aspects of health services.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy