The present article represents the first attempt to collect all health-related ESS articles for a systematic review. Although the European Social Survey (ESS) is not primarily a health survey, we have seen an increasing use of data from the ESS in comparative health research in the last few years, and the number is increasing year by year. The present article mainly aims at describing the findings from these studies and to highlight the main methodological differences between these studies. Although a synchronisation of methodological approaches would increase the comparability between ESS studies, the varying approaches are one of the main features that increase the interest in the ESS: both because it improves the robustness of the results, but also because it reflects the flexibility that the ESS offers as a data source. Twenty-one studies using the ESS for health-comparative analyses could be found and the number of studies is increasing year by year. A key result from these studies is that fundamental inequalities continue to exist according to many socio-economic indicators in the Nordic countries despite high living standards and egalitarian policies.
Keywords: European Social Survey (ESS), review, methodology, health, socio-economic inequalities, comparative health research.