Factors related to unemployment in europe. A cross-sectional study from the COURAGE survey in Finland, Poland and Spain

Matilde Leonardi, Davide Guido, Rui Quintas, Fabiola Silvaggi, Erika Guastafierro, Andrea Martinuzzi, Somnath Chatterji, Seppo Koskinen, Beata Tobiasz-Adamczyk, Josep Maria Haro, Maria Cabello, Alberto Raggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Research addressing the impact of a large number of factors on unemployment is scarce. We aimed to comprehensively identify factors related to unemployment in a sample of persons aged 18-64 from Finland, Poland and Spain. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, factors from different areas were considered: socio-demographic indicators, health habits, chronic conditions, health state markers, vision and hearing indicators, and social networks and built environment scores. Results: Complete data were available for 5003 participants, mean age 48.1 (SD 11.5), 45.4% males. The most important factors connected to unemployment were health status indicators such as physical disability (OR = 2.944), self-rated health (OR = 2.629), inpatient care (OR = 1.980), and difficulties with getting to the toilet (OR = 2.040), while the most relevant factor related to employment were moderate alcohol consumption (OR = 0.732 for non-heavy drinkers; OR = 0.573 for infrequent heavy drinkers), and being married (OR = 0.734), or having been married (OR = 0.584). Other factors that played a significant role included presence of depression (OR = 1.384) and difficulties with near vision (OR = 1.584) and conversation hearing (OR = 1.597). Conclusions: Our results highlight the importance of selected factors related to unemployment, and suggest public health indications that could support concrete actions on modifiable factors, such as those aimed to promote physical activity and healthy behaviors, tackling depression or promoting education, in particular for the younger.

Original languageEnglish
Article number722
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 11 2018


  • Alcohol consumption
  • Depression
  • Healthy behaviors
  • Model selection
  • Physical activity
  • Self-rated health
  • Survey data
  • Unemployment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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