An impending burden of disabled older adults? Health dynamics of older populations across four continents

Daniela Weber, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU)

Nowadays, life expectancy is increasing particularly in mid and high income countries, which goes along with increased shares of older populations. Therefore the health status of those population ageing and its determinants are a broadly discussed issue especially as good health enhances quality of life. Moreover, high shares of unhealthy older adults are a risk for societal burden. Prior work has shown that health status does not only depend on biological factors such as age and sex, but also on socio-demographic factors, e.g. marital status and education. The main purpose of this study is to show and analyse the variation in several dimensions of health from an international perspective. Here, the determinants of disabilities and bad health are analysed in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, America, and Europe. The data used come from six comparable ageing surveys (HRS, JSTAR, KLOSA, SHARE, SAGE, and TILDA). In general there are remarkable differences between the health status of the investigated sample. For instance, the United States turns out to have the unhealthiest population aged 50+ with about 74% reporting at least one chronic disease.

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Presented in Poster Session 2