SES Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Hypertension among Older Adults in Low and Middle Income Countries

Mary McEniry, University of Michigan
Zhangjun Zhou, University of Michigan

Low and middle income countries experienced rapid demographic changes and increased life expectancy during the 1930s-1960s, mainly because of improvements in public health interventions and medical innovations. Increasingly larger groups of survivors of poor early life conditions continued to live in poor socioeconomic conditions. Older adults from these cohorts may now exhibit sharper health inequalities due to SES. Drawing from a subset of the harmonized cross national RELATE data (n=160,661), we examine the degree to which this conjecture has merit by comparing SES health disparities in diabetes (type II using biomarkers), measured obesity and measured hypertension among older adults from different mortality regimes. We estimate models predicting diabetes, obesity and hypertension as a function of adult SES (household income per capita, wealth, education) while controlling for early life (born rural, parental education, height) and older adult health (smoking, current health, medical care received) conditions. Results have significant policy implications.

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Presented in Session 162: Aging in Lower and Middle Income Countries