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Physical Function in an Aging Population in Rural South Africa: Findings From HAALSI and Cross-National Comparisons With HRS Sister Studies
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Epidemiology and Global Health. MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt), School of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2017 (English)In: The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, E-ISSN 1758-5368, Vol. 72, no 4, 665-679 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We use recently-collected data from the Health and Aging in Africa: a Longitudinal Study of an INDEPTH Community in South Africa (HAALSI) cohort from Agincourt, South Africa, to describe physical functioning in this aging population, and place the overall level and age-trajectories of physical health in the context of other Health and Retirement Study (HRS) sister studies in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). We conduct multiple regression to estimate associations of physical functioning assessed from both self-report (activities of daily living [ADL] limitation, self-reported health) and performance (grip strength, gait speed) with socio-demographic and health characteristics in HAALSI, and use fully-interacted regression models to compare age-patterns of physical functioning outcomes cross-nationally. Gender differences in self-reported health are minimal, and men had 30% higher odds of being ADL limited controlling for socio-demographic and health characteristics. Measured physical performance is closely tied with socioeconomic conditions, but self-reported measures have a much smaller or weaker socioeconomic gradient. In international age-adjusted comparisons, the HAALSI sample had lower physical performance outcomes than most comparison populations. As the first HRS sister study undertaken in Africa, HAALSI adds vital information on population aging and health in the region. Continuing waves of HAALSI data will be a key resource for understanding differences in the complex processes of disability across LMIC contexts.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford University Press, 2017. Vol. 72, no 4, 665-679 p.
Keyword [en]
Africa, Cross-national comparisons, Disability, Low- and middle-income countries, Physical functioning
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-138550DOI: 10.1093/geronb/gbx030ISI: 000404894800015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-138550DiVA: diva2:1141467
Available from: 2017-09-14 Created: 2017-09-14 Last updated: 2017-09-14Bibliographically approved

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