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  • Led by Loughborough University.
  • Aimed to identify how variations in the mental and physical health of individuals influence their personal, social and economic outcomes.
  • Identified and analysed longitudinal data to establish and measure the impact of changes in health status, providing valuable insight for policymakers.
  • Ran from May 2018 to December 2021.

This research project – led by Loughborough University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, involving colleagues from the School of Business and Economics and School of Social Sciences – examined how variations in the mental and physical health of individuals cause different personal, social and economic outcomes – for household members as well as for the individuals themselves.

It involved analysing longitudinal data to look at how changes in health status of individuals affected their outcomes.

Social determinants of health that were analysed included indicators of income and employment, gender and household status, and impacts of health on financial situation, social connection, and personal relationships investigated.

The project team identified relevant data from the British Household Panel Survey and Understanding Society: The UK Household Longitudinal Survey.

The data was used to enable repeated measurement of variables for the same individuals over time. This allowed the project team to analyse the causal role that changes in health status over time have on different ages and across household peers.

Key findings

The research found that better mental and physical health:

  • increases individuals’ social capital through engagement with social organisations (this strengthens with age, even more so for women)
  • leads to improvements in an individual’s views of their financial situation – though this weakens with age
  • improves satisfaction with personal relationships, particularly for men.

The findings from this project have been published in academic journals (see links below) and will help to define how health status manifests itself in individual lives contextualised by their socio-economic circumstances.

This work provides valuable context for health, social and economic policymakers.

Contact information

Questions? Please contact Paul Downward, Professor of Economics, Loughborough University.

Learn more

For more information about this project, please see the resources below:

Health, subjective financial situation and well-being: a longitudinal observational study

The effect of health on social capital; a longitudinal observation study of the UK

Mental health and satisfaction with partners: a longitudinal analysis in the UK

About this programme

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