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Socioeconomic status and morbidity in the last years of life


  • Liao, Y.
  • McGee, D.L.
  • Kaufman, J.S.
  • Cao, G.
  • Cooper, R.S.


Objectives. This study evaluated the effect of socioeconomic status, as characterized by level of education, on morbidity and disability in the last years of life. Methods. The analysis used data from the National Health Interview Survey (1986-1990), with mortality follow-up through December 1991. Results. Among 10 932 decedents 50 years or older at baseline interview, educational attainment was inversely associated with long-term limitation of activity, number of chronic conditions, number of bed days, and days of short hospital stay during the year preceding the interview. Conclusions. Decedents with higher socioeconomic status experienced lower morbidity and disability and better quality of life even in their last years of life.

Suggested Citation

  • Liao, Y. & McGee, D.L. & Kaufman, J.S. & Cao, G. & Cooper, R.S., 1999. "Socioeconomic status and morbidity in the last years of life," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 89(4), pages 569-572.
  • Handle: RePEc:aph:ajpbhl:1999:89:4:569-572_0

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    Cited by:

    1. Dalstra, J.A.A. & Kunst, A.E. & Mackenbach, J.P., 2006. "A comparative appraisal of the relationship of education, income and housing tenure with less than good health among the elderly in Europe," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(8), pages 2046-2060, April.
    2. Hudson, Darrell L. & Puterman, Eli & Bibbins-Domingo, Kirsten & Matthews, Karen A. & Adler, Nancy E., 2013. "Race, life course socioeconomic position, racial discrimination, depressive symptoms and self-rated health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 7-14.
    3. von dem Knesebeck, Olaf & Verde, Pablo E. & Dragano, Nico, 2006. "Education and health in 22 European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 63(5), pages 1344-1351, September.
    4. Olga Grigoriev & Gabriele Doblhammer, 2019. "Changing educational gradient in long-term care-free life expectancy among German men, 1997-2012," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 14(9), pages 1-20, September.
    5. Yunyun Jiang & Haitao Zheng & Tianhao Zhao, 2019. "Socioeconomic Status and Morbidity Rate Inequality in China: Based on NHSS and CHARLS Data," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(2), pages 1-19, January.
    6. Elena Reche & Hans-Helmut König & André Hajek, 2019. "Income, Self-Rated Health, and Morbidity. A Systematic Review of Longitudinal Studies," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 16(16), pages 1-16, August.

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