Incorporating biomarkers into the study of socio-economic status and health among older adults in China.

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2017-12

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Abstract

The social gradient in health - that individuals with lower SES have worse health than those with higher SES- is welldocumented using self-reports of health in more developed countries. Less is known about the relationship between SES and health biomarkers among older adults residing in less developed countries. We use data from the ChineseLongitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) longevity areas sub-sample to examine the social gradient in healthamong rural young-old and oldest-old adults (N=2,121). Our health indicators include individual biomarkers, metabolic syndrome, and self-reports of health. We found a largely positive relationship between SES and health. SES was more consistently associated with individual biomarkers among the oldest-old than the young-old, providing evidence for cumulative disadvantage. We discuss the implications of our findings for older adults who have lived through different social, economic, and health regimes.

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10.1016/j.ssmph.2017.07.003

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Brasher, Melanie Sereny, Linda K George, Xiaoming Shi, Zhaoxue Yin and Yi Zeng (2017). Incorporating biomarkers into the study of socio-economic status and health among older adults in China. SSM - population health, 3. pp. 577–585. 10.1016/j.ssmph.2017.07.003 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/19428.

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Scholars@Duke

George

Linda K. George

Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Emeritus

My research falls into three broad areas: (1) social factors and the onset, course, and outcome of mental and physical illness, (2) social factors and aging, and (3) the organization and delivery of health services. I am working on funded research projects in all three areas. I have been the principal and co-principal investigator of two major epidemiologic studies. The first examines social factors and mental illness throughout adulthood. The second focuses on social factors related to both physical and mental health among older adults. I also am director of the one core of the Clinical Research Center for the study of depression in later life, funded by NIMH. The focus of my CRC project is the effects of social factors on the course of outcome of geriatric depression. In all of these studies, tje social factors examined include age, gender, race, urban vs rural residence, socioeconomic status, social stress, and social relationships. The major health services project in which I am involved is a randomized trial of outpatient commitment. This study is evaluating the extent to which outpatient commitment can increase the odds that the chronically mentally ill will be able to live in the community rather than being subjected to frequent involuntary commitments to state mental hospitals. The importance of this project is its potential to demonstrate that outpatient commitment is a less coercive and less expensive form of treatment for the chronically mentally that also improves their quality of life.

Zeng

Yi Zeng

Professor in Medicine

(1) Socioeconomic, behavior, environmental and genetic determinants of healthy aging and healthy longevity;
(2) Factors related to elderly disability and mental health;
(3) Methods of family households and elderly living arrangements forecasting/analysis and their applications in health services and socioeconomic planning, and market studies;
(4) Policy analysis in population aging, social welfare, retirement, and fertility transitions.


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