Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Sex differences in health in 1992 and 2002 among very old Swedes
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. (Socialgerontologiska forskningsgruppen, Aging Research Center)
Karolinska institutet, Aging Research Center. (Socialgerontologiska forskningsgruppen, Aging Research Center)
2008 (English)In: Journal of Population Ageing, ISSN 0167-5923, Vol. 1, no 1, 107-123 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background. Despite their longer life spans, women show higher morbidity rates compared to men at all ages. The gender gap in mortality has decreased over the past twenty years, but few studies have examined sex differences in morbidity over time. This study examines sex differences in health and changes in sex differences between 1992 and 2002.

Methods. SWEOLD is a nationally representative interview survey of persons aged 77+. Outcomes include self-reported and objective health indicators.

Results. Women had significantly higher prevalence rates for most health problems. Analyses of change over time showed that women had greater increases in, e.g., hypertension and poor lung function, and men had greater increases in poor self-rated health (SRH) and myocardial infarction (MI). The sex difference decreased significantly for SRH due to men’s increased reporting of poor health and increased for MI due to increased prevalence among men.

Conclusions. Several health indicators seem to be developing differently for men and women. The gender gap has narrowed for poor SRH and widened for MI.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Springer , 2008. Vol. 1, no 1, 107-123 p.
Keyword [en]
gender differences, elderly population, health trends, morbidity, functioning
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55278DOI: 10.1007/s12062-009-9009-1OAI: diva2:402200
Available from: 2011-03-07 Created: 2011-03-07 Last updated: 2011-03-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Gender Matters: Differences and change in disability and health among our oldest women and men
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Gender Matters: Differences and change in disability and health among our oldest women and men
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigates gender differences in health and how they have changed between 1992 and 2002 among very old people. It explores gender differences in the association between disability and health, and gender differences in care utilization among our oldest old people. The studies are based on nationally representative data of the population in Sweden aged 77 and older (SWEOLD).

 Results from Study I showed that women generally had more health problems than men. Analyses of change between 1992 and 2002 showed increased prevalence rates for both sexes, especially women. However, women’s reporting of poor global self-rated health did not increase. There were no gender differences and there was no change over time in activities of daily living (ADL). Several health indicators seem to be developing differently for women and men.

 Study II showed that associations between ADL disability and other health indicators changed between 1992 and 2002, with several health problems and functional limitations becoming less disabling over time. This trend was especially true for women, while for men, the findings were mixed.

 Study III found no gender differences in physician visits and dental visits, despite women’s worse health and dental status. Marriage was associated with more physician visits for men and dentist visits for women. Results imply that women and unmarried older adults may have unmet health-care needs.

 Study IV examined whether the increase in life expectancy at age 65 observed between 1992 and 2002 consisted of years with or without musculoskeletal pain. Results showed that total years without pain decreased for both women and men, but more so for women. Women also had more years with pain added to life.

 The results of this thesis suggest an increase of health problems, but not disability, in the oldest Swedish population. However, gender variations in the findings highlight the importance of analyzing health trends separately for women and men.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Social Work, Stockholm University, 2011. 90 p.
Stockholm studies in social work, ISSN 0281-2851 ; 29
oldest old, gender differences, health trends, disability, care utilization, healthy life expectancy, Sweden
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-55282 (URN)978-91-7447-253-0 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-04-08, Aula Svea, Socialhögskolan, Sveaplan, Stockholm, 09:00 (Swedish)
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 2: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Submitted.Available from: 2011-03-17 Created: 2011-03-07 Last updated: 2011-03-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Schön, Pär
By organisation
Department of Social Work
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: 85 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link