Better health reports when the grass is greener on your side of the fence? A cross-sectional study in older persons

Hans Bosma*, Danielle Groffen, Marjan van den Akker, Gertrudis I. J. M. Kempen, Jacques Th. M. van Eijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


To study whether the luxury goods make older people feel in better health and whether this association is similar in higher and lower social classes. SMILE consists of a Dutch general population consisting of 2.637 men and women aged 60 years and older in 2007. The SF-36 was used to measure health-related functioning. In the lower social class, having many luxury goods was related to feeling in better physical (OR 2.06, 95% CI 1.39-3.07) and mental health (OR 1.79, 95% CI 1.21-2.64), but not in the higher social class. There might be a health benefit of keeping up appearances, snobbism, and "conspicuous consumption" in older people from lower social classes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)449-453
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


  • Socioeconomic inequalities
  • Health
  • Older persons

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