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Study on the Health Status and Health Service Utilization for the Rural Elderly in the Metropolitan Suburb During the Urbanization Process: A Case for Mingxing Village, Guangzhou


  • Zhiping Zhong

    (School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China)

  • Lin Lin

    (School of Geography and Planning, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
    Department of Resources and the Urban Planning, Xinhua College of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou 510520, China)

  • Ying Yang

    (School of Public Administration, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, Guangzhou 510320, China)


Rapid urbanization development significantly accelerates residents’ income in China, but there still exists a series of problems in rural areas, especially the health status of the rural elderly in the metropolitan suburb, a crucial matter worthy of attention. Regarding the rural elderly in a suburb of Guangzhou as a research object, this paper focuses on comparison of the health status and health service utilization differences between the national and local rural area, and qualitatively analyze and explain it by the cumulative disadvantage theory during the life course. By random sampling in the study group, 122 seniors from Mingxing village in Guangzhou are selected for structured face-to-face interviews. Data analysis of questionnaires (collected by trained investigators) shows that, except for self-care ability, the elderly in the village exhibit more serious hearing, vision, movement disorder, daily activity, and pain problems than the national average. Regarding mental health, the proportion of anxiety and depression symptoms in Mingxing village is 21%, both over the national countryside average. The two-week prevalence, chronic disease prevalence, and inpatient out of hospital are 78%, 85%, and 53%, respectively, which are still higher than the 2013 national rural average. Research demonstrates that the elderly mainly choose village clinics for outpatient treatment, county hospitals for inpatient treatment. The two-week visiting rate is 33%, lower than that in 2013, and the hospitalization rate is 15%, close to 2013 level. In conclusion, the health status and health service utilization of the elderly in Mingxing village in Guangzhou is generally lower than the national average level. Daily living habits, traditional notions and willingness for medical treatment are indispensable factors in affecting the elderly health. Economic status, living environment and education level continue to be the main factors in influencing the health service utilization for the elderly in Mingxing village.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhiping Zhong & Lin Lin & Ying Yang, 2020. "Study on the Health Status and Health Service Utilization for the Rural Elderly in the Metropolitan Suburb During the Urbanization Process: A Case for Mingxing Village, Guangzhou," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-14, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:12:y:2020:i:9:p:3560-:d:351148

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