Education inequalities in health among older Europeans: the role of active aging

Aïda Solé-Auró, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Bruno Arpino, Universitat Pompeu Fabra

Social differentials in health prevalence exist in all European countries, but their scale varies markedly. To improve understanding of this variation, the article focuses on each end of the social gradient. First, we want to assess to what extent inequalities exists among older Europeans aged 50 years and older in terms of health outcomes. Second, we explore the heterogeneities in these inequalities by country. Third, we study whether the observed inequalities among older Europeans can be at least in part explained by different patterns of active aging, and in particular, by different levels of participation in activities that have been showed to be beneficial for older people wellbeing. Previous studies have shown, from one hand, positive effects of active aging activities on health and, from the other hand, different patterns of active aging by education level. Therefore, we expect that part of the health inequalities across education groups can be explained by active aging activities. The analysis uses longitudinal data from the 2004-2012 Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) of adults 50 years and older in 19 high-income countries.

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Presented in Session 28: Health disparities and well-being at older ages