Decomposition of Gender Disparities in Health Expectancy Among the Elderly in Latin America

Marilia Nepomuceno , Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Cassio M. Turra, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional (CEDEPLAR)

Women live longer but suffer more ill-health than men. In a context of population aging and declining gender ratios at older ages, there is an increasing concern about female health disadvantages among elderly, particularly in developing regions that are aging at a very rapid pace such as the case of Latin America. Our goals are:i) to compare gender differences in health expectancies in five Latin American countries, and ii) to investigate the contribution of women’s mortality advantage versus women’s disability disadvantage to the gap. Regarding disability-free-life-expectancy, we showed that the patterns are not the same across countries. In Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, women enjoy more healthy years than men, whereas in Brazil and Mexico, men can expect to live more healthy years. Consistently, although the decomposition showed that the contributions of mortality and disability effects have opposite directions in all countries, the size of each effect differs substantially across them.

See extended abstract

 Presented in Session 117. Gender Disparities in Later Life in Developing Countries