Socioeconomic Status and Physical Health among Elderly People in Central and Eastern Europe

Wiktoria Wroblewska , SGH Warsaw School of Economics
Radoslaw Antczak, SGH Warsaw School of Economics
Agata Wnuk, SGH Warsaw School of Economics

The aim of this paper is to assess how socio-economic status influence health among population aged 50 years and over in Central and Eastern Europe. We are using data from Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), wave 7. Socio-economic status was measured by education level and subjective evaluation of material well-being. Five health measures were used as outcome variables: Self perceived health, GALI, ADL, IADL and presence of chronic conditions. Our results indicate that there are significant health disparities between CEE countries. In all health measures, older people in Slovakia report better health than the same age group from other analysed countries. Good situation was also observed in Bulgaria, but only in terms of SPH and GALI, as well as in Hungary for ADL and Poland for IADL. In multivariate analysis the strongest determinant of poor health was subjective evaluation of material well-being. In Czechia, Poland and Slovakia, persons who have difficulties with meeting the ends, have worse self-perceived health and are more limited as measured by ADL and IADL. In those three countries the effect of education was observed only for the age group 65 years and over. In Hungary, Romana and Bulgaria though the influence of education is more visible in terms of most health measures. These results suggest the division of the region for two groups: slavic countries and balcan countries, with different relationship between socio-economic status and health of older adults, which require further studies on reasons of such disparities.

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 Presented in Session 94. Educational and SES Differences in Health and Wellbeing Over the Lifecourse