Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Health inequalities among older adults in Sweden 1991–2002
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
2008 (English)In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 18, no 2, 138-143 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Current research has shown a decline in health amongolder adults in Sweden. This study examines health inequalitiesamong older adults in Sweden in 1991–1992 and 2000–2002and explores the development of these inequalities during thisperiod.

Methods: A data set was constructed out of four levelsof living surveys, comprising 4085 individuals aged 55 and above.Multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess the associationbetween social class, sex, age and four different domains ofself-reported health: global self-rated health, impaired mobility,musculoskeletal pain and psychological distress. Adjustmentswere made for period of interview. Interaction terms were alsoused to assess change over time. Levin's attributable risk wasused to assess the magnitude of the health inequalities.

Results:The results indicate an increase in reports of all specifichealth problems, but not in the global health measure duringthe period. Significant sex differences and a clear social gradientin health were discernible during both periods. Women were morelikely than men to report problems with impaired mobility, painand psychological distress. Manual workers were significantlymore likely than non-manuals to report problems in all fourdomains of health. However, both the sex differences and thesocial gradient seemed to remain constant during the period.

Conclusion: Although it seems there are significant differencesin health depending on sex and social class among older adultsin Sweden, these inequalities appear to be unaffected by thegeneral increase in ill health that has been observed in thesegroups over the last decade.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 18, no 2, 138-143 p.
Keyword [en]
health inequalities, health trends, older adults, sweden
National Category
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-9390DOI: 10.1093/eurpub/ckm097ISI: 000254007400010OAI: diva2:175909
Available from: 2008-03-14 Created: 2008-03-14 Last updated: 2012-03-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Blood on the tracks: Life-course perspectives on health inequalities in later life
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Blood on the tracks: Life-course perspectives on health inequalities in later life
2010 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of the thesis was to explore social inequalities in: a) mortality during mid-life, b) health in later life, and c) old-age mortality, from a life-course perspective. The studies are based on longitudinal Swedish survey and registry data.

The results from Study I showed substantial inequalities in health, based on social class and gender, among older adults (aged 55+). Moreover, the magnitude of these inequalities did not change during the period 1991-2002.

The results from Study II revealed social inequalities in cognitive functioning among the oldest old (aged 77+). Social turbulence and social class during childhood, education and social class in adulthood were all independently associated with level of cognitive functioning in later life.

In Study III, social inequalities in mortality during mid-life (i.e., between ages 25 and 69) were explored. The results showed that childhood living conditions were associated with marital status and social class in adulthood and that, in turn, these conditions were associated with mid-life mortality. Thus, the results suggested that childhood disadvantage may serve as a stepping stone to a hazardous life-course trajectory.

Study IV explored the association between income in mid-life, income during retirement and old-age mortality (i.e., mortality during retirement). The results showed that both income during mid-life and income during retirement were associated with old-age mortality. Mutually adjusted models showed that income in mid-life was more important for women’s mortality and that income during retirement was more important for men’s.

Thus, the results of the present thesis suggest that there are substantial social inequalities in the likelihood of reaching old age, as well as in health and mortality among older adults. These inequalities are shaped by differential exposures throughout the life-course that affect health in later life both through direct effects and through processes of accumulation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, 2010. 67 p.
Stockholm studies in social work, ISSN 0281-2851 ; 27
Sweden, life-course, health, socioeconomic, childhood
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-38848 (URN)978-91-7447-062-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2010-06-14, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveaplan, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished  and had a status as follows: Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.Available from: 2010-05-22 Created: 2010-04-30 Last updated: 2012-03-07Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Fors, StefanLundberg, Olle
By organisation
Department of Social WorkAging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI)Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS)
In the same journal
European Journal of Public Health
Social Work

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 103 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link