Gender Difference in Improvement of Health Status among the Chinese Elderly

Danan Gu, Duke University
Yi Zeng, Duke University

Numerous studies have indicated that there is a trend in improvement in different dimensions of health among the elderly in developed nations. However, few such studies are conducted in developing countries. Using two Chinese unique nation-wide cross-sectional data sets for the elderly in 1992 and 2002, this study aims to investigate gender differentials in the improvement in health status in terms of disability, morbidity, and self-rated health over the 10-year period under controlling various confounders. The results show that all three indicators are improved with largest improvement observed for self-rated health, even in the presence of different controllers. Females improved more than males except for disability. The gender differentials in the increased active life expectancy, disease-free life expectancy, and healthy life expectancy from 1992 to 2000 are also estimated using Sullivan method, and contribution of improvement of each health indicator to its corresponding increased health expectancies is discussed as well.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Health, Mortality, Aging, Biology