200999 Health Disparities among Aging Populations in Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mary C. McEniry, PhD , Centers for Demography of Health & Aging/Demography & Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
While we know about many features of aging in developing countries (e.g. speed of aging), we know less about the determinants of health and how to fully explain health disparities in these settings. Early life circumstances may provide one clue in understanding the pattern of health disparities. Yet, there have been relatively few cross national studies which examine health disparities and early life conditions among older adult populations in the developing world. In this paper, I compare and contrast health disparities in older adults across a large and diverse set of countries and examine the degree to which poor early life circumstances help explain the observed pattern of health disparities. I include data from major studies on aging in Latin America and the Caribbean (MHAS-Mexico, SABE-capital or major cities, PREHCO-Puerto Rico, CRELES-Costa Rica), Asia (CLHLS-China, IFLS-Indonesia, MHSS-Bangladesh) and data from the US (HRS, WLS), the UK (ELSA), the Netherlands (SHARE) and Taiwan (SEBAS) to benchmark results. Health disparities within and across countries are compared using country-specific and pooled multivariate models to estimate the effects of SES (education, household income) on adult health (self-reported health, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, functionality) controlling for early childhood conditions (childhood health, SES, markers of nutritional status, mother's education), and adult risk factors (smoking). I expect to find that groups of individuals who have been unduly influenced by early life conditions will exhibit sharper health disparities. It will be important to use the results to prepare for future health needs of older adults in these settings.

Learning Objectives:
1. Analyze the pattern of health disparities (using education and household income) in older adults (aged 60+) across a diverse mix of developing and developed countries. 2. Identify and discuss the effects of socioeconomic status (education, household income) on older adult health (chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, obesity, functionality, self-reported health) and the extent to which early life circumstances may help explain observed health disparities. 3. Discuss the possible public health ramifications of the results.

Keywords: Aging, Health Disparities

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the P.I. on the research project and have been involved in all aspects of the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.