Vol 3, No 1 (2017)

Table of Contents

Research Articles

by Danan Gu, Qiushi Feng, Jessica M. Sautter, Li Qiu
51 Views, 25 PDF Downloads

We examined whether exposure to urban environments was linked with mortality in a longitudinal survey dataset of nearly 28,000 Chinese adults who were 65 years of age or older in the years 2002–2014. Urban life exposure was measured by residential status at birth, current residential status, and urban-related primary lifetime occupation, which generated eight different categories of urban life exposure: no exposure, mid-life-only exposure, late-life-only exposure, mid-late-life exposure, early-life-only exposure, early-mid-life exposure, early- & late-life exposure, and full life exposure. We also included a measure of migration, whether the respondent lived in the same county/city at birth and at first interview, to further classify these eight categories. Overall, we found that when demographics were controlled for, compared to those with no urban life exposure and no migration, mortality risk was lower for older adults with mid-late life exposure with or without migration and for older adults with full-life exposure with migration; mortality risk was higher for older adults with early-life-only exposure. Once socioeconomic status, family/social support, health behaviors, and baseline health were simultaneously controlled for, only the higher mortality risk for older adults with early-life-only exposure was still significant. Our findings provided valuable information about how urban life exposure at different life stages was associated with elderly mortality in China.

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Research Articles

by Sizhe Liu, Wei Zhang
40 Views, 38 PDF Downloads
Focusing on Asian-American immigrants in the National Latino and Asian American Study, this work examines (1) whether immigration-related stressors are associated with 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation, and (2) how individual religious involvement moderates the associations. Findings from regression analyses reveal that limited English proficiency increases the risk of both 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation. No significant differences in 12-month depressive disorder and suicidal ideation are found by age at immigration. Most importantly, religious coping — frequently seeking comfort from religion — buffers the negative effects of limited English proficiency on suicidal ideation. Our findings suggest the importance of individual religious involvement in helping Asian-American immigrants cope with stress associated with immigration. Mental health professionals may need to integrate religious coping mechanisms into the clinical setting to offer more effective treatments that are sensitive to individuals’ religious and spiritual needs.
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Research Articles

by Na Yin, Frank Heiland
12 Views, 12 PDF Downloads

Using data on disability vignettes from representative surveys in the U.S. and seven European countries, we conduct a comparative analysis of disability policies and public views on work limitations. We hypothesize that program characteristics are related to individuals’ perceptions about work limitations. Looking at how respondents across countries characterize identical disability vignettes, we find evidence that disability policy dimensions such as policy coverage, medical assessment, and vocational assessment strongly predict disability perceptions. We illustrate the results in a series of counterfactual policy simulations. Our findings have implications for policy design and delivery. The anchoring vignette approach may also be useful in a wide range of comparative policy studies.

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Research Articles

by Luciana Correia Alves, Natália Martins Arruda
24 Views, 22 PDF Downloads
The objective of this study was to estimate life expectancy with and without a specific chronic disease among the Brazilian elderly population, by sex and socioeconomic factors, for the years 1998 and 2008. Life expectancy with and without hypertension, diabetes, bronchitis/asthma, and heart disease were calculated using the Sullivan method and prevalence estimates from data collected in the two years through the Brazilian National Household Survey (PNAD). Hypertension was the chronic disease with the largest effect on life expectancy. Among socioeconomic determinants, education proved more relevant than income. Having more years of education increased the average healthy time. Socioeconomic inequality negatively affected the health of women more than men. Despite the social changes in Brazil in recent decades with a reduction in inequality and poverty, the effect of socioeconomic inequality in the country on the health status of the elderly remains evident.
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Research Articles

by Marten Lagergren, Noriko Kurube, Yasuhiko Saito
16 Views, 12 PDF Downloads

A simulation model has been developed, which looks at the future state of functional limitations and provision of long-term care from the individual’s point of view and compares the prospects of Japanese and Swedish old persons. The model calculates the distribution on level of functional limitations combined with level of long-term care (LTC) for a 78-year-old man or woman after 3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 years given the initial state expressed in those terms.
Longitudinal data for the model has been taken from the Nihon University Japanese Longitudinal Study of Aging (NUJLSOA) study, two waves three years apart, and the Swedish National Study of Aging and Care (SNAC) study, baseline and three-year follow up. Transition probabilities are calculated by relating individual states between waves. Changes over time are then calculated in the model by matrix multiplication using the Markov assumption.
The results are in most respects similar for Japan and Sweden. A difference is that institutional care in Sweden is a much more definite stage reflecting differences in end-of-life care policy. Future state and mortality depends to a great degree on the initial state, both in terms of dependency and level of LTC. Thus, 78-year-old people who have no functional dependency and no LTC have a much higher probability of surviving the coming 10–15 years than people of the same age who already are dependent and in need of LTC services. Not a few of the initially independent 78-year-old persons will retain that state even after 15 years. However, the effect of the initial state seems to decrease over time.

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Research Articles

by Zhenmei Zhang, I-Fen Lin
22 Views, 16 PDF Downloads

With the rapid aging of the Chinese population, growing attention has been given to old-age support. Widowed older adults constitute a particularly vulnerable population because the loss of a spouse can lead to financial hardships and emotional distress. We used data from the 2002 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey to examine multiple dimensions of old-age support among a nationwide sample of widowed old adults ages 65 and older (N = 10,511). The results show that Chinese widows and widowers rely heavily on their adult children, particularly sons and daughters-in-law, for financial, instrumental, and emotional support. Widowed older adults’ needs and the number of children are the most significant predictors of old-age support. Widowed older adults with multiple marriages have a lower likelihood of receiving financial assistance, sick care, and emotional support from their children compared to their counterparts who have married only once. There appears to be same-gender preference in adult children’s care for their widowed parents with disabilities.

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Research Articles

by Md. Ismail Tareque, Yasuhiko Saito
24 Views, 10 PDF Downloads

In Bangladesh, although some research on health expectancy exists, life expectancies with and without hypertension (HTN) have never been computed. We examined gender differences in the prevalence of hypertension and Hypertension-Free Life Expectancy (HFLE) in Bangladesh. We used data from a nationally representative survey of 7,864 people aged 35 and older. We classified an individual as having HTN if s/he had blood pressure levels ≥140 mmHg systolic blood pressure or ≥90 mmHg diastolic blood pressure, or s/he was at the time on antihypertensive medication. The Sullivan method was employed to compute HFLE. We found that women have HTN in significantly higher percentages (32% of women vs. 19% of men), and the prevalence of HTN increases as age increases for both men and women. Among individuals with HTN, individuals unaware of HTN make up the largest group, followed by those with uncontrolled HTN, controlled HTN, and those who are aware of HTN but not in treatment. Compared with men, women could expect shorter HFLE at all ages, in terms of both number and proportion of years. To increase HFLE as well as quality of life and to prevent and control HTN in general and unawareness of HTN and uncontrolled HTN in particular, special care and attention should be given to women and older adults. The findings shed important light on the role of HTN in lowering the quality of life in Bangladesh.

 

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Research Articles

by Bernardo Lanza Queiroz
114 Views, 13 PDF Downloads

This paper investigates the coverage of public pension programs in Latin America and discusses the relation between economic development, the existence of public pension programs, and elderly labor force participation. The paper presents stylized facts about the labor force by age and the connection between economic development and labor supply using aggregated data from 23 Latin American countries. The second part of the paper uses regression models to investigate the effects of economic development and social security system on the labor force participation of the older adults in 23 Latin American countries over the period 1990–2010. The results show that in lower income Latin American countries, most men remained in the labor force until age 65 or beyond and that with economic development and related changes, the labor force participation of older men, even those aged 55–59, starts to decline. Overall, the paper provides some insight on the evolution of labor supply patterns in less developed economies with rising income, changes in population age structure, shifts in occupational composition, and development in public pension programs.

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