242227 Socio-Economic Status and Disability among the Elderly: Evidence from China

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Jianhui Hu , Pardee RAND Graduate School, RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA
Socio-economic status (SES) has been identified as one of the most important demographic and social determinants of older adult health in developed countries. The relationship in developing world has not been as well studied so the generalizability outside the West is unknown. Meanwhile, previous studies suggested a variety of SES indicators in the Chinese elderly population. Using disability (measured by limitations on Activities of Daily Living ADLs, and/or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living IADLs) as the health outcome, this study employed logistic regression and Poisson regression to investigate the relationship between SES and disability among old adults in China. The Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) data collected jointly by Duke and Peking Univeristy was used for the analysis. Three sets of SES indicators were used: education (elder's own education and father's education), income/wealth (pension, house ownership, self-rated economic status, and household income), and occupation (elder's own occupation, and father's occupation). Findings include: 1) education (elder's own education as well as father's education) is negatively related to less severe disability (IADLs) but not severe disability (ADLs); 2) self-rated economic status is negatively related to both ADLs and IADLs disabilities, while household income and house ownership do not predict; 3) in general, no significant relationships between the elder's own occupation and father's occupation have been found; 4) while age is positively related to both ADLs and IADLs disabilities, being male and being marital married negatively predict IADL disability only.

Learning Areas:
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify appropriate country-specific socio-economic status (SES) indicators among the elderly (65+) in China context; define disability/severity of disability using Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs); analyze the association between SES and disability and discuss possible mechanisms.

Keywords: Disability, Social Class Measurement

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: this research is part of my dissertation work.
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.