Is socioeconomic disparity in disability improving among Korean elders?
Department of Society, Human Development and Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, United States. Social Science [?] Medicine
(Impact Factor: 2.89).
07/2010; 71(2):282-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.03.037
The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether the socioeconomic disparity in disability status in Korea improved during the decade between 1994 and 2004. Information was obtained from the National Survey of Elders' Life and Welfare Desires in 1994, 1998, and 2004. Age-adjusted disability rates by educational level and income were calculated separately for women and men. Prevalence ratios for disability by education and income were estimated using log-binomial regression. The relative index of inequality (RII) was calculated controlling for age. We also assessed trends in the disability rate as well as the RII p-trend by year. We found that disability rates declined during the decade from 1994 to 2004 among Koreans aged 65 years old or older. Older persons with less education and income exhibited greater decline in their disability than did those with higher socioeconomic status. Although the absolute disparity in disability decreased during the studied decade, the relative disparity for any disability remained stable in terms of both education and income. Despite rapid decreases in socioeconomic inequality among older adults with severe disabilities, older adults with lower socioeconomic status have remained more vulnerable to milder forms of disability during recent years.
Available from: Zachary Zimmer
- "Using this standard, there is strong evidence of downward trends in limitations in late-life functioning in recent decades for Finland (Sulander et al. 2006), Japan (Schoeni et al. 2006), the Netherlands (Picavet and Hoeymans 2002), Sweden (Parker et al. 2008), and the United States (e.g., Manton et al. 1997; Freedman et al. 2002; and Freedman et al. 2004). The evidence for countries whose socioeconomic development and epidemiological transitions occurred later is much weaker and is based on datasets with limited observations, those whose survey administration changed over time, or whose analysis yields implausible rates of change (e.g., Zimmer et al. 2002; Ofstedal et al. 2007; Gu et al. 2009; and Jang et al. 2010). Thus, whether or not trends in late-life functioning in recent decades in such countries also have been improving remains an open question. "
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ABSTRACT: This analysis offers the first strong evidence of trends in late-life disability in an emerging economy. For the population of Taiwan aged 65 and older, consistent measures of limitations in seeing, hearing, physical functions, instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and activities of daily living (ADLs) were available for three to six survey waves, depending on the outcome, from 1989 to 2007. Limitations in seeing, hearing, and IADLs declined substantially, but trends were mixed for physical functions and flat for ADLs. The remarkable reduction in difficulty telephoning, an IADL, may reflect changes in telecommunications infrastructure and highlights the roles of environment and technology in disability outcomes. Trends for urban residents were more advantageous than those for rural residents for seeing and hearing, but less so for physical functions and IADLs. Were it not for the substantial increase in educational attainment, trends in all outcomes would have been less favourable.
Available from: Jarosław Żbikowski
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ABSTRACT: Disability is a serious social, cultural and economic problem, the solving of which requires both legal regulations and coordinated activities by the State. A constantly increasing number of the disabled is an important premise for undertaking actions aimed at complex rehabilitation of this population group, and their engagement in social and economic life. Creating possibilities for spending free time in an attractive way, in accordance with ones interests and needs, is an essential area of rehabilitation activities. In 2005, the Institute of Tourism and Recreation at the State Higher Vocational School in Biał Podlaska launched representative, complex studies concerning the social conditioning of involvement of the disabled from the regions of Eastern Poland in tourism and mobile recreation. The presented material is an excerpt from this study report. It concerns barriers which limit or make it impossible for disabled males and females to participate in tourism and mobile recreation in the regions of Lublin, Rzeszow, and Białstok. Among barriers, which to the highest degree limit the participation of the disabled in tourism and recreation, the respondents indicated their poor material standard. Other important barriers were inconveniences associated with transport, lack of up-to-date information, and type of disability. The barriers limiting motor activity were also analyzed according to gender. Statistically significant differences were observed between males and females with respect to the following characteristics: transport, lack of adequate information, lack of off er of activities, and lack of assistance. It is noteworthy that males more strongly than females emphasized such barriers as lack of information, off er of assistance, while females indicated the problems with transport.
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ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to examine the impact of socioeconomic status and age on poor health among elderly people. Data were taken from the 2006 baseline survey of the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging (KLoSA). We compared self-rated poor health, depressive symptoms, chronic disease, and disability in middle-aged (age 45-64), old (age 65-74), and very old (age 75-105) individuals. Logistic regression models were used to assess the effect of a poor social environment on health. Elderly Koreans generally had poor socioeconomic status and reported a high prevalence of poor health compared with middle-aged people. Respondents aged 65-74 years old and those aged 75+ were approximately three and four times more likely, respectively, to report self-rated poor health than middle-aged people. These differences were reduced by 41-71% after controlling for education, employment, and income. Elderly persons were also more likely to report depression, chronic disease, or disability, and the differences between age groups were reduced after adjustment for socioeconomic status, but to a lesser extent than was self-rated poor health. Our results indicate that a substantial portion of the gap in health status between middle-aged and older Koreans may be accounted for by the typically low socioeconomic status of elderly people. Income security and health-related interventions are required to improve the health of the elderly cohort who are confronted with the synergistic effects of aging and low socioeconomic status on health.
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