Gender Differences in Health Status among Older Singaporeans

Angelique Chan, National University of Singapore
Santosh Jatrana, Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis

In this paper we examine gender differences in health status among older adults in Singapore using three different measures of health; self reported health, the presence of chronic illness, and functional disability. Previous studies in predominantly Caucasian populations report older women having poorer health status compared to older men; older women report more chronic conditions, poorer self assessed health, and higher rates of functional disability. Using data from the 1999 Transitions in Health, Wealth, and Welfare of Elderly Singaporeans: 1995-1999 survey, we conduct multivariate logistic regression to test for gender differences in health status among older Singaporeans (59+) controlling for socioeconomic characteristics, health risk behaviors, and social networking variables. We find that older females are 1.5 to 2.2 times more likely to report poorer health status depending on the health measure in question. Controlling for socioeconomic characteristics explains gender differences in self reported health and the presence of chronic illness.

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Presented in Poster Session 4: Aging