Sex and the city: Differences in disease- and disability-free life years, and active community participation of elderly men and women in 7 cities in Latin America and the Caribbean

Rose, Angela M. C.; Hennis, Anselm J.; Hambleton, Ian R.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Background: The world's population is ageing, and four of the top 10 most rapidly ageing developing nations are from the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). Although an ageing population heralds likely increases in chronic disease, disability-related dependence, and economic burden, the societal contribution of the chronically ill or those with disability is not often measured. Methods: We calculated country-specific prevalences of 'disability' (difficulty with at least one activity of daily living), 'disease' and 'co-morbidity' (presence of at least one, and at least two, of seven chronic diseases/conditions, respectively), and 'active community engagement' (using five levels of community participation, from less than weekly community contact to voluntary or paid work) in seven LAC cities. We estimated remaining life expectancy (LE) with and without disability, disease and comorbidity, and investigated age, sex, and regional variations in disability-free LE. Finally, we modeled the association of disease, co-morbidity and disability with active community participation using an ordinal regression model, adjusted for depression. Results: Overall, 77% of the LAC elderly had at least one chronic disease/condition, 44% had co-morbidity and 19% had a disability. The proportion of disability-free LE declined between the youngest (60-64 years) and the eldest (90 years and over) age-groups for both men (from 85% to 55%) and women (from 75% to 45%). Disease-free and co-morbidity-free LE, however, remained at approximately 30% and 62%, respectively, for men (20% and 48% for women), until 80-84 years of age, then increased. Only Bridgetown's participants had statistically significantly longer disability-free LE than the regional average (IRR = 1.08; 95%CI 1.05-1.10; p < 0.001). Only Santiago's participants had disability-free LE which was shorter than the regional average (IRR = 0.94; 95%CI 0.92-0.97; p < 0.001). There was 75% active community participation overall, with more women than men involved in active help (49% vs 32%, respectively) and more men involved in voluntary/paid work (46% vs 25%, respectively). There was either no, or borderline significance in the association between having one or more diseases/conditions and active community engagement for both sexes. These associations were limited by depression (odds ratio [OR] reduced by 15-17% for men, and by 8-11% for women), and only remained statistically significant in men. However, disability remained statistically significantly associated with less community engagement after adjusting for depression (OR = 0.58, 95%CI 0.49-0.69, p < 0.001 for women and OR = 0.50, 95%CI 0.47-0.65, p < 0.001 for men). Conclusion: There is an increasing burden of disease and disability with older age across the LAC region. As these nations cope with resulting social and economic demands, governments and civic societies must continue to develop and maintain opportunities for community participation by this increasingly frail, but actively engaged group.


Related Articles

  • Status of Women.  // Hungary Country Review;2013, p150 

    The article provides information on the status of women in Hungary, with information on Gender Related Development Index (GDI), female life expectancy at birth and total fertility rate.

  • Longer life, more obstacles.  // New Internationalist;Nov99, Issue 318, p5 

    Focuses on the general increase in the life expectancy of women since 1950. Greater male exposure to health risks as a possible explanation as to why women live longer; Proportion of disability-free life for women at the age of 65, according to the United States Bureau of Census.

  • Chinese women's life expectancy rises.  // Asian Pacific Post;4/24/2014, p17 

    The article reports on the increase in the life expectancy of Chinese women from 73.33 years old in 2000 to 77.37 years olds in 2013, which represents the significant improvement in women's health services in the country.

  • Women live longer lives--by six years on average.  // Accountancy Ireland;Aug1997, Vol. 29 Issue 4, p41 

    Reports that women's average life expectancy has risen to 80 years in the European Union.

  • Status of Women.  // Seychelles Country Review;2010, p78 

    The article offers information on the condition of women's welfare in Seychelles including gender related development index, female life expectancy at birth, and maternal mortality ratio.

  • Part III: Clinical Challenges and Renal Considerations in Managing Gout. Bleyer, Anthony J. // Renal & Urology News;Jun2012, Vol. 11 Issue 6, p35 

    The article presents a case study of the clinical challenges and renal considerations in managing acute gout attack in 58-year-old man with multiple comorbidities including hypercholesterolemia and hypertension. The patient was obese with blood pressure of 130/85 millimeter gram and normal...

  • Abdominal pain, a cardiac history, and an unusual diagnosis. Bruno, Patricio G. // Patient Care;Mar2006, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p62 

    Focuses on the case of a 71-year-old man who was diagnosed with hydatid cyst disease, a parasitic disease caused by human infection with Echinococcus species. Results of the physical examination; Symptoms of such disease; Risks posed by surgery to the patient due to his cardiac comorbidities.

  • Medical Center Characteristics Associated with PSA Screening in Elderly Veterans with Limited Life Expectancy. So, Cynthia; Kirby, Katharine; Mehta, Kala; Hoffman, Richard; Powell, Adam; Freedland, Stephen; Sirovich, Brenda; Yano, Elizabeth; Walter, Louise // JGIM: Journal of General Internal Medicine;Jun2012, Vol. 27 Issue 6, p653 

    BACKGROUND: Although guidelines recommend against prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening in elderly men with limited life expectancy, screening is common. OBJECTIVE: We sought to identify medical center characteristics associated with screening in this population. DESIGN/PARTICIPANTS: We...

  • Mortality: life and health expectancy of Canadian women. DesMeules, Marie; Manuel, Douglas; Cho, Robert // BMC Women's Health;2004 Supplement 1, Vol. 4, pS9 

    Health Issue: The sex differences in mortality, life expectancy, and, to a lesser extent, health expectancy, are well recognized in Canada and internationally. However, the factors explaining these differences between women and men are not well understood. This chapter explores the contribution...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics