Cross-national comparison of sex differences in health and mortality in Denmark, Japan and the US.

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2010-07

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Abstract

The present study aims to compare the direction and magnitude of sex differences in mortality and major health dimensions across Denmark, Japan and the US. The Human Mortality Database was used to examine sex differences in age-specific mortality rates. The Danish twin surveys, the Danish 1905-Cohort Study, the Health and Retirement Study, and the Nihon University Japanese Longitudinal Study of Aging were used to examine sex differences in health. Men had consistently higher mortality rates at all ages in all three countries, but they also had a substantial advantage in handgrip strength compared with the same-aged women. Sex differences in activities of daily living (ADL) became pronounced among individuals aged 85+ in all three countries. Depression levels tended to be higher in women, particularly, in Denmark and the HRS, and only small sex differences were observed in the immediate recall test and Mini-Mental State Exam. The present study revealed consistent sex differentials in survival and physical health, self-rated health and cognition at older ages, whereas the pattern of sex differences in depressive symptoms was country-specific.

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10.1007/s10654-010-9460-6

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Oksuzyan, Anna, Eileen Crimmins, Yasuhiko Saito, Angela O'Rand, James W Vaupel and Kaare Christensen (2010). Cross-national comparison of sex differences in health and mortality in Denmark, Japan and the US. Eur J Epidemiol, 25(7). pp. 471–480. 10.1007/s10654-010-9460-6 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14789.

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O'Rand

Angela M. O'Rand

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

My major research interests focus on patterns of inequality across the life span, with a special interest in the temporal diversity of life transitions, their consequences for later life, and the impact of institutions on these transitions over time. Over forty years I have examined workplace policies related to wage and benefit structures and the impact of workers' educational, work and family histories on socioeconomic outcomes. The changing employment relationship and the re-organization of retirement institutions (especially pensions) have been other central concerns of my research. Most recently, I have turned to the cumulative impact of economic adversity on early-, mid- and later-life health risks, such as heart attack. This research has uncovered the persistent effects of childhood adversity on adult heart attack risk, especially among women. I am expanding this focus over the next few years to examine the more general question of "life course risks" and increased economic and social inequalities in life course trajectories of health and wealth across birth cohorts and race-ethnic groups (including the role of debt as a stressor). And, from 2014-2020 I was the Principle Investigator on Duke's NIH P30 Center grant  in the Demography and Economics of Aging awarded to the “Center for Population Health and Aging;” Scott Lynch is the current PI appointed for 2020-25.  Over the same period I was the Director of the Duke University Population Research Institute.


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