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Table 1 Prevalence (%) of economic hardship (inability to pay for ordinary bills, lack of cash reserves, low household income & a combined economic hardships measure), demographic and socioeconomic variables and mental health problems (GHQ12-psycoholocal distress, severe anxiety & use of antidepressant medication) (the Swedish National Public Health Survey 2009).

From: Economic hardships in adulthood and mental health in Sweden. the Swedish National Public Health Survey 2009

  Men (N = 23,153) Women (N = 28,261) P-value*
Exposure % (n) % (n)  
Inability to pay ordinary bills    
No 85.7 % (19675) 82.4 % (23048)  
Yes 14.3 % (3275) 17.6 % (4931)  
(Missing) (203) (282) <.0001
Lack of cash reserves    
No 83.6 % (19167) 76.7 % (21407)  
Yes 16.4 % (3771) 23.3 % (6512)  
(Missing) (215) (342) <.0001
Low household income    
No 83.2 % (19179) 77.5 % (21813)  
Yes 16.8 % (3865) 22.5 % (6349)  
(Missing) (91) (99) <.0001
Combined economic hardships measure    
None 67.5 % (15627) 57.8 % (16326)  
Mild 20.9 % (4834) 25.6 % (7225)  
Severe 8.6 % (1996) 12.6 % (3560)  
Very severe 3.0 % (695) 4.1 % (1149)  
(Missing) (509) (723) <.0001
Background factors    
Age (years)    
16-29 16.2 % (3746) 17.4 % (4906)  
30-44 22.9 % (5304) 24.0 % (6768)  
45-64 36.1 % (8367) 35.8 % (10119) <.0001
65-84 24.8 % (5736) 22.9 % (6468)  
(Missing) (0) (0)  
Country of birth    
Sweden 88.5 % (13172) 87.7 % (16074)  
OECD (Other Nordic, Europe, North America) 7.7 % (1151) 8.6 % (1572)  
Other (Asia, Latin America, Africa) 3.8 % (563) 3.8 % (692)  
(Missing) (8267) (9923) <0.0210
Educational level    
High 17.9 % (10125) 21.8 % (5611)  
Intermediate 34.1 % (7183) 33 % (8492)  
Low 48.0 % (5772) 45.1 % (11605) <.0001
(Missing) (2073) (2553)  
Occupational status    
Non-manual workers 36.8 % (7982) 36.2 % (9470)  
Lower non-manual workers 9.4 % (2034) 17.8 % (4643)  
Workers 41.9 % (9079) 37.8 % (9869)  
Farmers and self-employed 7.4 % (1601) 3.1 % (807)  
Unclassified occupational status 4.6 % (995) 5.2 % (1346)  
(Missing) (1462) (2126) <.0001
Employment status    
Employed 57.1 % (12769) 54.1 % (14636)  
Other activities (students, parental leave etc.) 38.4 % (8590) 41.3 % (11174)  
Unemployed 4.4 % (988) 4.7 % (1265)  
(Missing) (806) (1186) <.0001
Living alone (with or without children)    
No 69.5 % (15722) 65.8 % (18201)  
Yes 30.5 % (6901) 34.2 % (9442)  
(Missing) (530) (618) <.0001
Long term illness    
No 91.0 % (20755) 89.1 % (24723)  
Yes 9.0 % (2048) 10.9 % (3035)  
(Missing) (350) (503) <.0001
Health outcomes    
Psychological distress (GHQ12)    
No 86.1 % (19858) 81.0 % (22546)  
Yes 13.9 % (3196) 19.0 % (5596)  
(Missing) (99) (119) <.0001
Severe anxiety    
No 96.5 % (21911) 94.2 % (26111)  
Yes 3.5 % (805) 5.8 % (1607)  
(Missing) (437) (543) <.0001
Use of antidepressant medications    
No 95.1 % (15441) 91.0 % (26671)  
Yes 4.9 % (788) 9.0 % (1810)  
(Missing) (16924) (8179) <.0001
  1. *p-value from chi-square tests