Online Program

Are baby boomers healthier than generation x?

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 1:32 p.m. - 1:50 p.m.

Rhiannon Pilkington, BPsych(Hons), GradDip(PubHlth), PhD Candidate, Population Research and Outcome Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Anne W. Taylor, MPH PhD, Population Research & Outcome Studies, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Gary A. Wittert, MBBch, MD, FRACP, FRCP, Discipline of Medicine, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Graeme J. Hugo, PhD, MGEOG, Geography, Environment and Population, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
OBJECTIVE: To determine differences in sociodemographic and health related characteristics of Australian Baby Boomers and Generation X at the same relative age. METHODS: The 1989 National Health Survey (NHS) for Boomers (1946-1965 n=5.3M) and the 2008 NHS for Generation Xers (1966-1980 n=5.9M) was used to compare the cohorts at the same age of 25-44 years. Z-tests were used to determine generational differences for males and females in education, employment, smoking, physical activity, Body Mass Index (BMI), self-rated health and diabetes. Prevalence estimates and p-values are reported. Logistic regression models were then conducted to adjust for sex, education and age. Model 1 examined overweight/obesity (BMI>=25) and Model 2 examined diabetes prevalence as the dependent variables with generation the independent variable. Adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals are reported. RESULTS: Tertiary educational attainment was higher among Generation X males (27.6% vs.15.2% p<0.001) and females (30.0% vs.10.6% p<0.001). Boomer females had a higher rate of unemployment (5.6%vs.2.5% p<0.001). Boomer males and females had a higher prevalence of ‘excellent' self-reported health (35.9%vs.21.8% p<0.001; 36.3%vs.25.1% p<0.001) and smoking (36.3% vs. 30.4% p<0.001; 28.3% vs. 22.3% p<0.001). Generation X males (18.3% vs.9.4% p<0.001) and females (12.7%vs.10.4% p=0.0152) demonstrated a higher prevalence of obesity(BMI>30.00). No differences in physical activity were observed. Model 1 and 2 indicated Generation X were more likely than Boomers to be overweight/obese (OR:2.11,1.82-2.44) and have diabetes (OR:6.52,4.21-10.11). CONCLUSIONS: Self-rated health has deteriorated while obesity and diabetes prevalence has increased. This may impact on workforce participation and health care utilization in the future.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe and identify differences in the sociodemographic and health related characteristics of Baby Boomers and Generation X using national Australian data. Discuss potential implications for workforce participation and health care utilisation.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Epidemiology

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a third year PhD student with the University of Adelaide studying the health status, health related behaviours and the influence of workplace on Baby Boomers and Generation Xers. This abstract summarises a significant piece of work I have undertaken as part of my study to explore differences between the generations irrespective of age.
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.

Back to: 3239.0: Epidemiology of Aging