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Sociodemographic Effects on the Onset and Recovery of ADL Disability among Chinese Oldest-old


  • Danan Gu

    (United Nations)

  • Yi Zeng

    (Duke University)


By pooling the data from the three waves (1998, 2000, and 2002) of the Chinese Longitudinal Health and Longevity Survey, this study examines the association of sociodemographic factors with the onset and recovery of ADL disability including changes in functional status before dying. The results show that the sociodemographic factors play some specific roles in disability dynamics at very high ages even after controlling for a rich set of confounders. Our results also point out that the conventional method, which excludes the information of ADL changes before dying due to unavailability of the data, overestimates the effects of age, gender, ethnicity, and living alone on disability transitions whereas it underestimates the effects of SES, although such discrepancies are not very big compared with the results including information of ADL changes before dying.

Suggested Citation

  • Danan Gu & Yi Zeng, 2004. "Sociodemographic Effects on the Onset and Recovery of ADL Disability among Chinese Oldest-old," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 11(1), pages 1-42, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:11:y:2004:i:1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James Smith & Raynard Kington, 1997. "Demographic and economic correlates of health in old age," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 34(1), pages 159-170, February.
    2. Umberson, Debra, 1992. "Gender, marital status and the social control of health behavior," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 34(8), pages 907-917, April.
    3. Lamb, Vicki L., 1997. "Gender differences in correlates of disablement among the elderly in Egypt," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 127-136, July.
    4. Kenneth Land & Jack Guralnik & Dan Blazer, 1994. "Estimating Increment-Decrement Life Tables with Multiple Covariates from Panel Data: The Case of Active Life Expectancy," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 31(2), pages 297-319, May.
    5. Verbrugge, Lois M. & Jette, Alan M., 1994. "The disablement process," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 1-14, January.
    6. Shiro Horiuchi & John Wilmoth, 1998. "Deceleration in the age pattern of mortality at olderages," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(4), pages 391-412, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gu, Danan & Dupre, Matthew E. & Warner, David F. & Zeng, Yi, 2009. "Changing health status and health expectancies among older adults in China: Gender differences from 1992 to 2002," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2170-2179, June.
    2. Zachary Zimmer & Linda Martin & Daniel Nagin & Bobby Jones, 2012. "Modeling Disability Trajectories and Mortality of the Oldest-Old in China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 49(1), pages 291-314, February.
    3. Ming Wen & Danan Gu, 2011. "The Effects of Childhood, Adult, and Community Socioeconomic Conditions on Health and Mortality among Older Adults in China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 153-181, February.
    4. Luo, Ye & Zhang, Zhenmei & Gu, Danan, 2015. "Education and mortality among older adults in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 134-142.

    More about this item


    activities of daily living (ADL) disability; China; oldest old; sociodemographic effect;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General


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