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Health at Old Ages in India: Statistical Exposition of Its Socio-Cultural and Gender Dimensions

Bakshi, Sanjeev and Pathak, Prasanta (2009): Health at Old Ages in India: Statistical Exposition of Its Socio-Cultural and Gender Dimensions.

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Abstract

This work attempts to develop a conceptual framework to model health of older adults (OA) in India in association with various socio-economic and cultural (SEC) factors. For this purpose, four different populations of OAs are considered namely rural male (RM), rural female (RF), urban male (UM) and urban female (UF). The data from the 60 th Round of the National Sample Survey (NSS) (2004) has been used for the purpose. Diseases and disabilities are two aspects of the health of OAs. These aspects are measured by the count of diseases and the count of disabilities suffered by an OA. Empirical evidence indicates that models based on the Poisson distribution and the Negative Binomial distribution are appropriate respectively to model these aspects of health. The association between these two aspects is not found to be strong in all the four populations. But these aspects are found to be significantly associated with various SEC factors. The effects of age, marital status and number of children are significant in case of diseases. Education has effect in rural areas alone and the effect of caste differentials is visible in case of female populations only. Religion has significant effect in rural areas only. The effects of household economic status and economic dependency are also significant. The type of economic activity of a household also affects disease prevalence among the male populations. The amount of land possessed by a household affects the disease prevalence among rural OA only. In the case of disabilities, age and economic dependency of the OAs have significant effect in all the OA populations. Marital status has significant effect only for disabilities among RF, UM and UF populations. Disabilities among UM and RM are associated with education and caste respectively. Religion plays a significant role in the cases of disabilities among rural population.

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