Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2015

Abstract

Objective: We examine the association between poverty, economic inequality, and health among elderly in Myanmar. Method: We analyze 2012 data from Myanmar’s first representative survey of older adults to investigate how health indicators vary across wealth quintiles as measured by household possessions and housing quality. Results: Poverty and poor health are pervasive. Self-assessed health, sensory impairment, and functional limitation consistently improve with higher wealth levels regardless of socio-demographic controls. Differentials in self-rated health and sensory impairment between the bottom and second quintiles are clearly evident, suggesting that relative economic inequality matters even among very poor elders and that a small difference in wealth can matter in an extreme poverty setting. Discussion: Findings support a global theory of economic gradients in health regardless of level of societal poverty. Modest efforts to improve the standard of living among elderly may improve not only their material well-being but also their health.

Keywords

Economic/SES gradients in health, Poverty, Least developed countries, Myanmar

Discipline

Asian Studies | Gerontology | Inequality and Stratification | Medicine and Health

Research Areas

Sociology

Publication

Journal of Aging and Health

Volume

27

Issue

8

First Page

1462

Last Page

1484

ISSN

0898-2643

Identifier

10.1177/0898264315584577

Publisher

SAGE Publications (UK and US)

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

https://doi.org/10.1177/0898264315584577

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