Sociodemographic Effects on Onset and Recovery of ADL Disability among Chinese Oldest Old

Danan Gu, Duke University
Yi Zeng, Duke University and Peking University

By pooling the first three waves (1998, 2000, 2002) of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey, this study examines the association of sociodemographic factors with onset and recovery of ADL disability under a comprehensive context. The results show that sociodemographic factors seem to play some roles on disability dynamics at very high ages even after controlling for many confounders. It is worth noting that the relationships between sociodemographic factors and disability dynamics at oldest-old ages are more complex and far from conclusive. One unique feature of this study is development of measurement and model to include change of functional status before dying incorporating basic sociodemographic factors under a multivariate framework. Our results indicate that the conventional method, which excludes the information of ADL changes before dying due to unavailability of data, overestimates the effects of age, gender, ethnicity, and living alone on disability transitions whereas underestimates the effects of SES.

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Presented in Session 48: Race, Gender, Aging, and Health