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Disability and ageing in China and India – decomposing the effects of gender and residence: Results from the WHO study on global ageing and adult health (SAGE)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0556-1483
2017 (English)In: BMC Geriatrics, ISSN 1471-2318, E-ISSN 1471-2318, Vol. 17, article id 197Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: China and India are the world's two most populous countries. Although their populations are growing in number and life expectancies are extending they have different trajectories of economic growth, epidemiological transition and social change. Cross-country comparisons can allow national and global insights and provide evidence for policy and decision-making. The aim of this study is to measure and compare disability in men and women, and in urban and rural dwellers in China and India, and assess the extent to which social and other factors contribute to the inequalities.

METHODS: National samples of adults aged 50 to 79 years in China (n = 11,694) and India (n = 6187) from the World Health Organization (WHO) longitudinal Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) Wave 1 were analysed. Stratified multiple linear regressions were undertaken to assess disability differences by sex and residence, controlling for other biological and socioeconomic determinants of disability. Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition partitioned the two-group inequalities into explained and unexplained components.

RESULTS: In both countries women and rural residents reported more disability. In India, the gender inequality is attributed to the distribution of the determinants (employment, education and chronic conditions) but in China about half the inequality is attributed to the same. In India, more than half of the urban rural inequality is attributed to the distribution of the determinants (education, household wealth) compared with under 20% in China.

CONCLUSIONS: Education and employment were important drivers of these measured inequalities. Overall inequalities in disability among older adults in China and India were shaped by gender and residence, suggesting the need for policies that target women and rural residents. There is a need for further research, using both qualitative and quantitative methods, to question and challenge entrenched practices and institutions and grasp the implications of global economic and social changes that are impacting on population health and ageing in China and India.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
BioMed Central, 2017. Vol. 17, article id 197
Keywords [en]
Inequalities, Residence, Rural, Developing countries, Oaxaca-Blinder, Decomposition
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-139574DOI: 10.1186/s12877-017-0589-yISI: 000408762800001PubMedID: 28859630OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-139574DiVA, id: diva2:1142261
Available from: 2017-09-19 Created: 2017-09-19 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Stewart Williams, JenniferNorström, FredrikNg, Nawi

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