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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


GONZALO, Elena  and  PASARIN, M. Isabel. Health among the elderly. Gac Sanit [online]. 2004, vol.18, n.4, pp.69-80. ISSN 0213-9111.

We explore gender, class and geographical inequalities in health of the population aged over 65 years in Spain. We gathered data from the 1997 National Health Survey, 1999 hospital discharge data, 1998 mortality data from vital statistics, and from the 1999 National Survey on Disabilities.  Health related behaviors (tobacco and alcohol consumption, eating disorders and physical activity), self-rated health, chronic health problems, functional capacity, and health service utilization are described by gender and social class. Mortality rates among the elderly are compared between the 52 Spanish provinces.  Women and members of the lower social classes present worse levels of self-rated health. Tobacco and alcohol consumption are more frequent among men than among women. Physical activity appears correlated to the every-day activities, men and those in the higher classes adopt sedentary habits in a greater proportion. Functional dependency is more frequent among women than among men, showing a clear pattern of inequality. As in other studies, the highest mortality rates were located in the southern part of Spain.

Keywords : Inequalities; Gender; Social class; Elderly; Functional capacity; Behaviours; Health perceived; Mortality; Health services use.

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