|Title||Socioeconomic status across the life course and dementia-status life expectancy among older Americans|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Authors||Cha, H, Farina, MP, Hayward, MD|
|Journal||SSM - Population Health|
|Keywords||Dementia, Life Expectancy, Mortality, socioeconomic status|
This study examines how socioeconomic status (SES) across the life course is associated with individuals’ lifetime dementia experience – the years of life persons can expect to live and without with dementia. Conceptually, dementia-free life expectancy reflects the ability to postpone dementia onset while dementia life expectancy reflects the average lifetime period with the condition. How SES across the life course contributes to dementia-status life expectancy is the focus of this study. We assess whether persons who are advantaged in their lifetime SES live the most years without dementia and the fewest years with dementia compared to less advantaged persons. Using the Health and Retirement Study (2000–2016), we examine these questions for U.S. adults aged 65 and older using multistate life tables and a microsimulation approach. The results show that higher SES persons can expect to live significantly more years of life without dementia and that the period of life with dementia is compressed compared to less advantaged persons. The results also underscore that importance of cumulative exposure, showing that adults from disadvantaged childhoods who achieve high education levels often have dementia experiences that are similar to or better than those of adults from advantaged childhoods who achieved low education levels.