Madrid: People who are doing well financially and socially have better health than others. Higher education and a good job also protect against chronic diseases. These are some of the conclusions drawn by Kristina Karlsdotter, economist at the University of Granada, Spain supervised by Jose Jesús Martin Martin and Maria del Puerto Lopez del Amo González, both professors.

The study also reveals the potential long-term effects that socio-economic inequalities have on the health of the population at a regional level, and the relevance of family when it comes to assess how social inequalities affect a population's health, according to a Granada statement.

Researchers used data from two surveys conducted in Spain: the 2007 Survey on Living Conditions and the 2001 Longitudinal Database of the Andalusian Population, conducted by the Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia and the Spanish National Research Council.

Researchers have found that the individual income of a person "is positively associated with a good health status". Additionally, education level is statistically associated with health status: the higher the education level, the better the health of the individual, according to several health variables.

The study reveals the influence of family environment on an individual's health status. Thus, over 30 percent of variations in an individual's health status are caused by their family environment. Social relationships are another protective factor against disease, but only in women.