Socioeconomic Inequalities in Disability-free Life Expectancy in Older People from England and the United States: A Cross-national Population-Based Study

TitleSocioeconomic Inequalities in Disability-free Life Expectancy in Older People from England and the United States: A Cross-national Population-Based Study
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsZaninotto, P, G. Batty, D, Stenholm, S, Kawachi, I, Hyde, M, Goldberg, M, Westerlund, H, Vahtera, J, Head, J
JournalThe Journals of Gerontology: Series A
Volume75
Issue5
Pagination906-913
Date Published01
ISSN Number1079-5006
KeywordsCross-National, Disability, Healthy life expectancy, socioeconomic status
Abstract

We examined socioeconomic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy in older men and women from England and the United States and explored whether people in England can expect to live longer and healthier lives than those in the United States.We used harmonized data from the Gateway to Global Aging Data on 14,803 individuals aged 50+ from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study (HRS) and 10,754 from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). Disability was measured in terms of impaired activities and instrumental activities of daily living. We used discrete-time multistate life table models to estimate total life expectancy and life expectancy free of disability.Socioeconomic inequalities in disability-free life expectancy were of a similar magnitude (in absolute terms) in England and the United States. The socioeconomic disadvantage in disability-free life expectancy was largest for wealth, in both countries: people in the poorest group could expect to live seven to nine fewer years without disability than those in the richest group at the age of 50.Inequalities in healthy life expectancy exist in both countries and are of similar magnitude. In both countries, efforts in reducing health inequalities should target people from disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.

DOI10.1093/gerona/glz266
Citation Key10.1093/gerona/glz266