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Socioeconomic status and self-reported chronic diseases among Argentina’s adult population: results based on multivariate probability models

Valentina Viego, Karina Temporelli
  • Karina Temporelli
    Instituto de Investigaciones Economica y Sociales del Sur, CONICET; Department of Economics, Universidad Nacional del Sur, Argentina


Background. Hypertension, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia are the most frequent and diagnosed chronic diseases in Argentina. They contribute largely to the burden of chronic disease and they are strongly influenced by a small number of risk factors. These risk factors are all modifiable at the population and individual level and offer major prospects for their prevention. We are interested in socioeconomic determinants of prevalence of those 3 specific diseases.
Design and methods. We estimate 3-equation probit model, combined with 3 separate probit estimations and a probit-based Heckman correction considering possible sample selection bias. Estimations were carried out using secondary self-reported data coming from the 2013 Risk Factor National Survey.
Results. We find a negative association between socioeconomic status and prevalence of hypertension, cholesterolemia and diabetes; main increases concentrate in the transition from low to high SES in hypertension and diabetes. In cholesterol, the major effect takes place when individual crosses from low to middle SES and then vanishes. Anyway, in Argentina SES exhibit and independent effect on chronic diseases apart from those based on habits and body weight.
Conclusions. Public strategies to prevent chronic diseases must be specially targeted at women, poorest households and the least educated individuals in order to achieve efficacy. Also, as the probability of having a condition related to excessive blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or glucose in the blood do not increase proportionally with age, so public campaigns promoting healthy diets, physical activity and medical checkups should be focused on young individuals to facilitate prophylaxis.


hypertension; diabetes; cholesterolemia; chronic diseases; social factors

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Submitted: 2017-03-17 23:29:30
Published: 2017-07-17 14:03:31
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