Gender differences in health status among older Singaporeans

Angelique Chan, National University of Singapore
Santosh Jatrana, University of Otago, Wellington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Department of Public Health

It has long been established that gender differences in health status exist in the developed world; women have higher rates of morbidity compared to men. Much less attention has been paid, however, to gender differences in health in Asia. The topic is extremely important given the rapid aging of Asia’s populations and the increased burden that this will place on health care systems in the region. In this paper we examine how gender differentials in health status among older Singaporeans change when demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, health risk behaviours, and social network variables are controlled in a multivariate logistic regression analysis. We use three measures of health; self assessed health, number of chronic limitations reported, and the presence of a functional disability. Gender differences in self-assessed health are no longer significant in our final model, however, gender differentials in chronic illness and functional disability remain.

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Presented in Session 11: Gender, health and mortality (1)