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Gender Differences in the Influence of Economic, Lifestyle, and Psychosocial Factors on Later-life Health


  • Steven G. Prus
  • Ellen Gee


This paper examines the differential impact of social forces on the health of men and women aged 65+ using data from the 1994-1995 National Population Health Survey. Multiple regression analysis is used to estimate gender differences in the influence of socio-economic, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors on both self-rated health and overall functional health. Some key findings are: 1) the relationship between income and health is significant for older women, but not for older men, while the opposite occurs for education; 2) having an acceptable body weight is positively associated with health for elderly women only; and 3) stress-related factors are generally much stronger determinants of health for older women. These findings shed light on the processes of healthy aging for men and women.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven G. Prus & Ellen Gee, 2002. "Gender Differences in the Influence of Economic, Lifestyle, and Psychosocial Factors on Later-life Health," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 76, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:76

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arber, Sara & Cooper, Helen, 1999. "Gender differences in health in later life: the new paradox?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 61-76, January.
    2. McDonough, Peggy & Walters, Vivienne, 2001. "Gender and health: reassessing patterns and explanations," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 547-559, February.
    3. Macintyre, Sally & Hunt, Kate & Sweeting, Helen, 1996. "Gender differences in health: Are things really as simple as they seem?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 617-624, February.
    4. Walters, Vivienne & Lenton, Rhonda & French, Susan & Eyles, John & Mayr, Janet & Newbold, Bruce, 1996. "Paid work, unpaid work and social support: A study of the health of male and female nurses," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 43(11), pages 1627-1636, December.
    5. Bird, Chloe E. & Rieker, Patricia P., 1999. "Gender matters: an integrated model for understanding men's and women's health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 48(6), pages 745-755, March.
    6. Arber, Sara & Ginn, Jay, 1993. "Gender and inequalities in health in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 33-46, January.
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    More about this item


    health; aging; gender differences; NPHS;

    JEL classification:

    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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