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Age Differences in Women's Perceptions of Their Health Problems and Concerns


  • Margaret Denton
  • Vivienne Walters


This paper addresses age differences in women's perceptions of their health problems and concerns. The data are drawn from interviews with a stratified random sample of 356 women in Hamilton, Canada. The data show that women of all ages are concerned or worried about the major causes of death including heart disease, all types of cancer and road traffic accidents although younger women are more concerned with breast cancer and cancer of the womb. In terms of the health problems they have experienced, while stress and tiredness are common health problems reported by women of all ages, older women are more likely than the younger women to report life threatening health problems such as heart disease, lung disease and chronic diseases such as arthritis and osteoporosis. Information from in-depth interviews with 32 of the women reveal that the sources of stress, tiredness and depression lie in the social context of women's lives and differ for women of different ages. The authors conclude that it should not be assumed that women's health concerns and experiences are homogeneous. In research on women's health and in shaping women's health policy, it is important to recognize that there are fundamental differences

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Denton & Vivienne Walters, 1997. "Age Differences in Women's Perceptions of Their Health Problems and Concerns," Independence and Economic Security of the Older Population Research Papers 20, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:iesopp:20

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    health problems; age differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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