Cross-National Comparability of Health and Mortality Measures -- Evidence from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) and the Health and Retirement Study (HRS)

Iliana V. Kohler, University of Pennsylvania
Beth Soldo, University of Pennsylvania

The goal of our paper is twofold: first, we present the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS) as a unique source for a developing country to address the aging processes, health dynamics and mortality outcomes simultaneously with transitions in other life domains, including changes in economic well-being, marital and family status, migration histories, socioeconomic transfers. We discuss how measures of health such as symptoms, functional status, anthropometric and cognitive measures can be incorporated in research on health and mortality of the elderly and old population, and we present examples for Mexico. Second, we address the issue of comparability and equivalence of health measures and how these may bias conclusions about the determinants of health, morbidity and mortality in a cross-cultural comparison. Our analyses are based on a comparison between MHAS and the HRS which are nearly identical in design, contents and coverage because HRS served as a template for MHAS.

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Presented in Session 159: Comparative Mortality Analyses