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Socioeconomic and age gradients of health of Indian adults: an assessment of self-reported and performance-based measures of health

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  • Arokiasamy, Perianayagam
  • Uttamacharya, Uttamacharya
  • Kowal, Paul
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    Abstract

    Objectives: This paper describes the age patterns of socioeconomic gradients of health of Indian adults for multiple health indicators encompassing the multidimensional nature of health. Methods: Cross-sectional data on 11,230 Indians aged 18-plus from the WHO-SAGE India Wave 1, 2007 is used. Multivariate logit models were estimated to examine the effects of socioeconomic status (education and household wealth) and age on four health measures: self-rated health, self-reporting functioning, chronic diseases, and performance-based health indicators. Findings: Socioeconomic status was positively associated with each health measure but with considerable heterogeneity across age groups. SES relationship with biomarkers (hypertension and COPD) was inconclusive. SES effects are significant while adjusting for background characteristics and health risk factors. The age patterns of SES gradient of health depict divergence with age, however, no conclusive age pattern emerged for performance-based health indicators. Discussion: Overall, results in this paper dispelled the conclusion of negative SES-health association found in some previous Indian studies and reinforced the hypothesis of positive association of SES with health for Indian adults. Higher prevalence of negative health outcomes and SES disparities of health outcomes among older age-groups highlight need for inclusive and focused health care interventions for older adults across socioeconomic spectrum.

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    File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/54912/
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 54912.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2013
    Date of revision: Feb 2014
    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:54912

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    Keywords: Socioeconomic status; gradients; self rated health; functional health; chronic disease; biomarkers;

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    1. Lantz, Paula M. & Lynch, John W. & House, James S. & Lepkowski, James M. & Mero, Richard P. & Musick, Marc A. & Williams, David R., 2001. "Socioeconomic disparities in health change in a longitudinal study of US adults: the role of health-risk behaviors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 29-40, July.
    2. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding Differences in Health Behaviors by Education," Scholarly Articles 5344195, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    3. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
    4. Luis Rosero-Bixby & William H. Dow, 2009. "Surprising SES Gradients in Mortality, Health, and Biomarkers in a Latin American Population of Adults," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 64(1), pages 105-117.
    5. Elo, Irma T. & Preston, Samuel H., 1996. "Educational differentials in mortality: United States, 1979-1985," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 47-57, January.
    6. Smith, Kimberly V. & Goldman, Noreen, 2007. "Socioeconomic differences in health among older adults in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 65(7), pages 1372-1385, October.
    7. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
    8. Dale Dannefer, 2003. "Cumulative Advantage/Disadvantage and the Life Course: Cross-Fertilizing Age and Social Science Theory," Journals of Gerontology: Series B, Gerontological Society of America, Gerontological Society of America, vol. 58(6), pages S327-S337.
    9. Zimmer, Zachary & Amornsirisomboon, Pattama, 2001. "Socioeconomic status and health among older adults in Thailand: an examination using multiple indicators," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1297-1311, April.
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