Cardiovascular Health Disparities among Older Adults in South Korea

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2020

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Abstract

The number of older adults in South Korea has increased faster than in any other countries. Along with this trend, the increasing burden of cardiovascular disease among this population is of growing national concern. Central to this concern is a highly disproportionate burden of the disease observed among individuals with a low socioeconomic position.

Older adults with a low socioeconomic position in South Korea are indeed a marginalized population who have been exposed to decades of socioeconomic disadvantages due to Korea’s unique history. They have also been unfavorably affected by the socioeconomic support and healthcare system and experienced widening disparities in access to healthcare services, all of which may lead to greater disparities in cardiovascular health.

In Western countries, where cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death and health disparities among older adults, researchers have consistently provided in-depth and evidence of changing disparities. They have suggested strategic solutions for policy and healthcare professionals to decrease the detrimental influences of socioeconomic position on health for this group. However, few studies have been conducted on disparities in cardiovascular health among older adults based on socioeconomic position in South Korea. Therefore, the purpose of this dissertation is to explore disparities in cardiovascular health among older adults according to socioeconomic position in South Korea.

This dissertation is organized into five chapters. Chapter 1 introduces the overall research agenda. Chapter 2 provides a systematic review of the literature on socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular health among Korean adults. Based on the Chapter 1 and the findings of the systematic review, the purposes of data-driven chapters are constructed to address the following aims. First, Chapter 3 will examine time trends in socioeconomic disparities in cardiovascular health over the past decade among older adults in South Korea. Second, Chapter 4 will investigate the role of material, behavioral, psychological, and social-relational factors in the explanation of disparities in cardiovascular health among older adults in South Korea. Particularly in this dissertation, health disparities are defined as differences in health between two or more socioeconomic groups within a population.

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Lee, Chiyoung (2020). Cardiovascular Health Disparities among Older Adults in South Korea. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/21502.

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