Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Health of Elderly Persons in India

Borooah, Vani (2018): The Health of Elderly Persons in India. Published in: Health and Well-Being in India No. Palgrave Macmillan (May 2018): pp. 143-182.

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This chapter uses data from India’s National Sample Survey (NSS), relating to respondents’ health outcomes between January and June 2014, to quantify a particular form of gender inequality: inequality in self-rated health (SRH) outcomes between men and women aged 60 years or over. In so doing, it makes five contributions to the existing literature. The first is in terms of analytical technique: this study contains a more detailed and nuanced exposition of the regression results than in previous studies. Second, it controls for environmental factors — such as poor drainage, absence of toilets, or lack of ventilation in the kitchen — which might adversely impact on health and, in particular, affect the health of women more than that of men. Third, it takes account of interaction effects by which the effect of a variable on an elderly person’s SRH differed according to whether the person was male or female. Lastly, it examines whether SRH is correlated with objective health outcomes. In particular, this study answers two central questions. Did men and women, considered collectively, have significantly different likelihoods of ‘poor’ SRH between the different regions/income classes/social groups/education levels? Did men and women, considered separately, have significantly different likelihoods of a ‘poor’ SRH within a region/income class/social group/education level?

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