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Gender differences in health in later life: the new paradox?

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  • Arber, Sara
  • Cooper, Helen
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    Abstract

    This paper examines gender differences in health, based on data from over 14,000 men and women aged 60 and above from 3 years of the British General Household Survey, 1992-1994. There is little difference between the sexes in the reporting of self-assessed health and limiting longstanding illness, but older women are substantially more likely to experience functional impairment in mobility and personal self-care than men of the same age. These findings persist after controlling for the differential social position of men and women according to their marital status, social class, income and housing tenure. The results reveal a paradox in health reporting among older people; for a given level of disability, women are less likely to assess their health as being poor than men of the same age after accounting for structural factors. Older women's much higher level of functional impairment co-exists with a lack of gender difference in self-assessed health.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Social Science & Medicine.

    Volume (Year): 48 (1999)
    Issue (Month): 1 (January)
    Pages: 61-76

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:48:y:1999:i:1:p:61-76

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    Related research

    Keywords: General Household Survey gender disability self-assessed health paradox health inequalities;

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    Cited by:
    1. Anne Case & Christina Paxson, 2004. "Sex Differences in Morbidity and Mortality," Working Papers 171, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    2. Steven G. Prus & Ellen Gee, 2001. "Measuring Differences in the Effect of Social Resource Factors on the Health of Elderly Canadian Men and Women," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 58, McMaster University.
    3. Rietjens, Judith A.C. & Deschepper, Reginald & Pasman, Roeline & Deliens, Luc, 2012. "Medical end-of-life decisions: Does its use differ in vulnerable patient groups? A systematic review and meta-analysis," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 74(8), pages 1282-1287.
    4. Steven G. Prus & Ellen Gee, 2002. "Gender Differences in the Influence of Economic, Lifestyle, and Psychosocial Factors on Later-life Health," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 76, McMaster University.
    5. Sharifah Haron & Deanna Sharpe & Jariah Masud & Mohamed Abdel-Ghany, 2010. "Health Divide: Economic and Demographic Factors Associated with Self-Reported Health Among Older Malaysians," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 328-337, September.

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