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  • 1.
    Agahi, Neda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Shaw, Benjamin A.
    Smoking and Physical Inactivity as Predictors of Mobility Impairment During Late Life: Exploring Differential Vulnerability Across Education Level in Sweden2018In: The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, E-ISSN 1758-5368, Vol. 73, no 4, p. 675-683Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: To test whether older adults from high and low educational groups are differentially vulnerable to the impact of smoking and physical inactivity on the progression of mobility impairment during old age.

    Methods: A nationally representative sample of older Swedish adults (n = 1,311), aged 57-76 years at baseline (1991), were followed for up to 23 years (2014). Multilevel regression was used to estimate individual trajectories of mobility impairment over the study period and to test for differences in the progression of mobility impairment on the basis of smoking status, physical activity status, and level of education.

    Results: Compared to nonsmokers, heavy smokers had higher levels and steeper increases in mobility impairment with advancing age. However, there were only small and statistically nonsignificant differences in the impact of heavy smoking on mobility impairment in high versus low education groups. A similar pattern of results was found for physical inactivity.

    Discussion: Differential vulnerability to unhealthy behaviors may vary across populations, age, time-periods, and health outcomes. In this study of older adults in Sweden, low and high education groups did not differ significantly in their associations between heavy smoking or physical inactivity, and the progression of mobility impairment.

  • 2.
    Agahi, Neda
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Shaw, Benjamin A.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Social and economic conditions in childhood and the progression of functional health problems from midlife into old age2014In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, ISSN 0143-005X, E-ISSN 1470-2738, Vol. 68, no 8, p. 734-740Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background Childhood living conditions have been found to predict health and mortality in midlife and in old age. This study examines the associations between social and economic childhood conditions and the onset and progression of functional health problems from midlife into old age, and the extent to which potential associations are mediated by educational attainment and smoking. Methods Data from the Level of Living Survey and the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old were merged to create a longitudinal data set with five repeated measures from 1968 to 2004 (n=1765, aged 30-50 years and free from functional health problems at baseline). Multilevel regression models were used to analyse retrospective reports of social and economic conditions in childhood (eg, conflicts or economic problems in the family) in relation to the progression of functional health problems over the 36-year period. Results Results showed that social and economic disadvantages in childhood were associated with an earlier onset and a faster progression of functional health problems from midlife into old age. Subsequent models showed that differences in educational attainment, but not smoking, explained much of the association between childhood disadvantages and trajectories of functional health problems. Conclusions According to these results, adverse social and economic conditions in childhood affect the development of functional health problems from midlife into old age indirectly through less favourable life careers, including lower education. Creating equal opportunities for educational attainment may help reduce the long-term effects of disadvantaged childhood conditions and postpone functional health problems.

  • 3.
    Berndt, Hanna
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Gothenburg University, Sweden.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Childhood living conditions, education and health among the oldest old in Sweden2016In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 36, no 3, p. 631-648Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objectives were to investigate the associations between social and financial living conditions in childhood, education and morbidity in old age. The study population (N = 591; 76+ years old) was assembled from two nationally representative Swedish surveys, in 1968 and 2011, that together made longitudinal analysis possible. Morbidity in old age comprised self-reported measures of musculoskeletal disorders, cardiovascular disease, self-rated health and impaired mobility. There were no independent associations between adverse childhood living conditions and morbidity. However, adverse childhood living conditions were associated with an increased likelihood of low education. Moreover, low education was associated with a higher probability of health problems in old age. The results did not show any associations between adverse childhood conditions and late-life morbidity. However, adverse childhood conditions were associated with lower levels of education which, in turn, was associated with health problems and attrition from the study. These results suggest that adverse childhood conditions may indeed be associated with health and survival in old age, but mainly through mechanisms acting earlier in the lifecourse.

  • 4.
    Darin-Mattsson, Alexander
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Andel, Ross
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Are Occupational Complexity and Socioeconomic Position Related to Psychological Distress 20 Years Later?2015In: Journal of Aging and Health, ISSN 0898-2643, E-ISSN 1552-6887, Vol. 27, no 7, p. 1266-1285Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To assess occupational complexity in midlife in relation to psychological distress in older adulthood (69+ years) and explore the role of socioeconomic position. Method: Baseline data from the Swedish Level of Living Survey and follow-up data from the Swedish Longitudinal Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old were combined, resulting in 20+ years of follow-up. Data were analyzed using ordered logistic regressions. Results: Higher occupational complexity was associated with less psychological distress 20 years later adjusted for age, sex, follow-up year, hours worked the year before baseline, and psychological distress at baseline. Higher socioeconomic position yielded the same pattern of results. Socioeconomic position partially accounted for the association between occupational complexity and psychological distress. Discussion: With social gradient not easily amenable to modification, efforts to increase engagement at work may offer a viable option to attenuate the influence of work environment on psychological distress later in life.

  • 5.
    Darin-Mattsson, Alexander
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Different indicators of socioeconomic status and their relative importance as determinants of health in old age2017In: International Journal for Equity in Health, ISSN 1475-9276, E-ISSN 1475-9276, Vol. 16, article id 173Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background

    Socioeconomic status has been operationalised in a variety of ways, most commonly as education, social class, or income. In this study, we also use occupational complexity and a SES-index as alternative measures of socioeconomic status. Studies show that in analyses of health inequalities in the general population, the choice of indicators influence the magnitude of the observed inequalities. Less is known about the influence of indicator choice in studies of older adults. The aim of this study is twofold: i) to analyse the impact of the choice of socioeconomic status indicator on the observed health inequalities among older adults, ii) to explore whether different indicators of socioeconomic status are independently associated with health in old age.

    Methods

    We combined data from two nationally representative Swedish surveys, providing more than 20 years of follow-up. Average marginal effects were estimated to compare the association between the five indicators of SES, and three late-life health outcomes: mobility limitations, limitations in activities of daily living (ADL), and psychological distress.

    Results

    All socioeconomic status indicators were associated with late-life health; there were only minor differences in the effect sizes. Income was most strongly associated to all indicators of late-life health, the associations remained statistically significant when adjusting for the other indicators. In the fully adjusted models, education contributed to the model fits with 0-3% (depending on the outcome), social class with 0-1%, occupational complexity with 1-8%, and income with 3-18%.

    Conclusions

    Our results indicate overlapping properties between socioeconomic status indicators in relation to late-life health. However, income is associated to late-life health independently of all other variables. Moreover, income did not perform substantially worse than the composite SES-index in capturing health variation. Thus, if the primary objective of including an indicator of socioeconomic status is to adjust the model for socioeconomic differences in late-life health rather than to analyse these inequalities per se, income may be the preferable indicator. If, on the other hand, the primary objective of a study is to analyse specific aspects of health inequalities, or the mechanisms that drive health inequalities, then the choice of indicator should be theoretically guided.

  • 6. Ericsson, Malin Christina
    et al.
    Gatz, Margaret
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Jönköping University, Sweden.
    Parker, Marti G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Validation of abridged mini-mental state examination scales using population-based data from Sweden and USA2017In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, E-ISSN 1613-9380, Vol. 14, no 2, p. 199-205Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The objective of this study is to validate two abridged versions of the mini-mental state examination (MMSE): one intended for use in face-to-face interviews, and the other developed for telephonic interviews, using data from Sweden and the US to validate the abridged scales against dementia diagnoses as well as to compare their performance to that of the full MMSE scale. The abridged versions were based on eight domains from the original MMSE scale. The domains included in the MMSE-SF were registration, orientation, delayed recall, attention, and visual spatial ability. In the MMSE-SF-C, the visual spatial ability item was excluded, and instead, one additional orientation item was added. There were 794 participants from the Swedish HARMONY study [mean age 81.8 (4.8); the proportion of cognitively impaired was 51 %] and 576 participants from the US ADAMS study [mean age 83.2 (5.7); the proportion of cognitively impaired was 65 %] where it was possible to compare abridged MMSE scales to dementia diagnoses and to the full MMSE scale. We estimated the sensitivity and specificity levels of the abridged tests, using clinical diagnoses as reference. Analyses with both the HARMONY and the ADAMS data indicated comparable levels of sensitivity and specificity in detecting cognitive impairment for the two abridged scales relative to the full MMSE. Receiver operating characteristic curves indicated that the two abridged scales corresponded well to those of the full MMSE. The two abridged tests have adequate validity and correspond well with the full MMSE. The abridged versions could therefore be alternatives to consider in larger population studies where interview length is restricted, and the respondent burden is high.

  • 7. Ericsson, Malin
    et al.
    Lundholm, Cecilia
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Dahl Aslan, Anna K.
    Zavala, Catalina
    Reynolds, Chandra A.
    Pedersen, Nancy L.
    Childhood social class and cognitive aging in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging2017In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 114, no 27, p. 7001-7006Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this report we analyzed genetically informative data to investigate within-person change and between-person differences in late-life cognitive abilities as a function of childhood social class. We used data from nine testing occasions spanning 28 y in the Swedish Adoption/Twin Study of Aging and parental social class based on the Swedish socioeconomic index. Cognitive ability included a general factor and the four domains of verbal, fluid, memory, and perceptual speed. Latent growth curve models of the longitudinal data tested whether level and change in cognitive performance differed as a function of childhood social class. Between-within twin-pair analyses were performed on twins reared apart to assess familial confounding. Childhood social class was significantly associated with mean-level cognitive performance at age 65 y, but not with rate of cognitive change. The association decreased in magnitude but remained significant after adjustments for level of education and the degree to which the rearing family was supportive toward education. A between-pair effect of childhood social class was significant in all cognitive domains, whereas within-pair estimates were attenuated, indicating genetic confounding. Thus, childhood social class is important for cognitive performance in adulthood on a population level, but the association is largely attributable to genetic influences.

  • 8.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Blood on the tracks: Life-course perspectives on health inequalities in later life2010Doctoral 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.

  • 9.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Ojämlikhet och hälsa i ett livsloppsperspektiv2012In: Jämlik ålderdom?: i samtiden och framtiden / [ed] Lars Andersson, Peter Öberg, Malmö: Liber, 2012, p. 112-136Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 10.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Shaw, Benjamin A.
    Paying the price? The impact of smoking and obesity on health inequalities in later life2012In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 134-141Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: The aims of the study are twofold: (i) to explore the impact of socioeconomic position, as measured 13 years earlier, on cognitive functioning and mobility impairment in later life, and (ii) to explore the extent to which obesity and smoking status can explain socioeconomic inequalities in cognitive and mobility impairments in later life. Methods: Data from a nationally representative sample of Swedish adults aged 56-76 in 1991 who were re-interviewed 13 years later in 2004, was analysed to explore the impact of socioeconomic position, smoking, and obesity on cognitive and physical functioning in late life. Results: The results showed that both smoking and obesity in late mid-life were stratified by socioeconomic position. Moreover, the results showed significant associations between socioeconomic position and both cognitive and physical functioning in later life. However, these inequalities in late life function could only partially be explained by the socioeconomic differences in smoking and obesity. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that socioeconomic differences in the rates of smoking and obesity may explain some, but not all, of the socioeconomic inequalities in physical and cognitive functioning during old age.

  • 11.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Almquist, Ylva B.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Brännström, Lars
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Coexisting Social, Economic, and Health-Related Disadvantages in More than 2.4 Million Swedes: Combining Variable-Centred and Person-Centred Approaches2019In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 143, no 1, p. 115-132Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The notion of coexisting disadvantages has been recognised in social welfare policy and welfare research, not least in the Nordic countries. The prevalence and patterning of coexisting disadvantages in society have far reaching implications for well-being, social policy, and social inequality. Using longitudinal register-based data for the years 1998‒2008 for all Swedish individuals born 1946‒1965 (n > 2.4 million), this exploratory study maps out the occurrence of coexisting disadvantages in the Swedish working-age population, and examines to what extent observed prevalence rates are associated with sex, age, immigrant status, and marital status. Coexisting disadvantages are analysed in terms of four broad register-based indicators intended to capture individuals’ resources in key areas of the society: education, income, labour market, and mental health. The results show that while most individuals are not disadvantaged in these areas, coexisting disadvantages do occur and its prevalence varies according to sex, age, immigrant status, and marital status. This study shows that combinations of person-centred and variable-centred analyses of register-based indicators can play a part when developing effective systems for policy surveillance.

  • 12.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lennartson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lundberg, Olle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Childhood Living Conditions, Socioeconomic Position in Adulthood, and Cognition in Later Life: Exploring the Associations2009In: The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, E-ISSN 1758-5368, Vol. 64, no 6, p. 750-757Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives This study examined the association between childhood living conditions, socioeconomic position in adulthood, and cognition in later life. Two questions were addressed: Is there an association between childhood living conditions and late-life cognition, and if so, is the association modified or mediated by adult socioeconomic position?

    Methods Nationally representative data of the Swedish population aged 77 years and older were obtained from the 1992 and 2002 Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD). Cognition was assessed with an abbreviated version of the Mini-Mental State Examination scale. Childhood living conditions were assessed by self-reports of childhood living conditions.

    Results The results showed independent associations between conflicts in the household during childhood, father's social class, education, own social class in adulthood, and cognition in later life. Exposure to conflicts during childhood, having a father classified as a manual worker, low education, and/or being classified as a manual worker in adulthood was associated with lower levels of cognition in old age. There seemed to be no modifying effect of adult socioeconomic position on the association between childhood conditions and cognition in later life.

    Discussion This suggests the importance of childhood living conditions in maintaining cognitive function even in late life.

  • 13.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lundberg, Olle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Live long and prosper? Childhood living conditions, marital status, social class in adulthood and mortality during mid-life: A cohort study2011In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 179-186Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of childhood living conditions, marital status, and social class in adulthood on the risk of mortality during mid-life. Two questions were addressed: Is there an effect of childhood living conditions on mortality risk during mid-life and if so, is the effect mediated or modified by social class and/or marital status in adulthood? Methods: A nationally representative, Swedish, level of living survey from 1968 was used as baseline. The study included those aged 25—69 at baseline (n = 4082). Social conditions in childhood and adulthood were assessed using self-reports. These individuals were then followed for 39 years using registry data on mortality. Results: The results showed associations between childhood living conditions, marital status, social class in adulthood and mortality during mid life. Social class and familial conditions during childhood as well as marital status and social class in adulthood all contributed to the risk of mortality during mid-life. Individuals whose father’s were manual workers, who grew up in broken homes, who were unmarried, and/or were manual workers in adulthood had an increased risk of mortality during mid life. The effects of childhood conditions were, in part, both mediated and modified by social class in adulthood. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that there are structural, social conditions experienced at different stages of the life course that affect the risk of mortality during mid-life.

  • 14.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Social mobility, geographical proximity and intergenerational family contact in Sweden2008In: Ageing & Society, ISSN 0144-686X, E-ISSN 1469-1779, Vol. 28, p. 253-270Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study examined intergenerational family contact. Three questions were considered: Is there a relationship between parent's class, child's class and family contact? Can class-related differences in family contact be explained by differences in geographical distance between parent and child? Is intergenerational family contact affected by children's social mobility? The questions were explored using data from a nationally-representative level of living survey. The results from logistic regressions showed that parent's class as well as the child's class were associated with intergenerational geographical distance and family contact more often than once a week. Those in or retired from non-manual occupations were less likely than manual workers to live close and to have family contact more than once a week. We found no evidence that a change in class position, upward nor downward, had any effect on family contacts. Rather, class-stable non-manual families socialise less frequently than other families, even when they live relatively close. The results therefore suggest that familial class-cohesiveness is a stronger determinant of inter-generational family contacts than social mobility. Future research should address the complex connection between social mobility and other forms of relations and transfers between generations.

  • 15.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Parker, Marti G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Thorslund, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Intervjustudie om de allra äldstas levnadsvillkor: äldre har fått fler hälsoproblem, men klarar vardagen bättre2013In: Läkartidningen, ISSN 0023-7205, Vol. 110, p. CA33-Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lundberg, Olle
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Health inequalities among older adults in Sweden 1991–20022008In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 18, no 2, p. 138-143Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 17.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work.
    Modin, Bitte
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Koupil, Ilona
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Vågerö, Denny
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Socioeconomic inequalities in circulatory and all-cause mortality after retirement: the impact of mid-life income and old-age pension. Evidence from the Uppsala Birth Cohort Study2012In: Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, ISSN 0143-005X, E-ISSN 1470-2738, Vol. 66, no 7, p. e16-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The aim of this study was to explore the impact of mid-life income and old-age pensions on the risk of mortality in later life. Furthermore, the study explored whether income inequalities in old-age mortality can be explained by differences in early childhood development, social class during childhood, education or marital status.

    Methods: The study sample comprises all individuals born at Uppsala Academic Hospital during the period 1915–1924 who had retired but not died or emigrated by 1991 (n=4156). Information on social and biological conditions was retrieved from national registries.

    Results: The results show that income during mid-life and income during retirement were associated with old-age mortality. However, mutually adjusted models showed that income in mid-life was more important for women's late-life mortality and that income during retirement was more important for men's late-life mortality. Furthermore, differences in education and marital status seemed to explain a substantial part of income inequalities in late-life mortality.

    Conclusions: It is unlikely that egalitarian social policies aimed at older populations can eradicate health inequalities accumulated over the life course. However, retirement income appears to have an effect on late-life mortality that is independent of the effect of income in mid-life, suggesting that egalitarian pension schemes could affect health inequalities in later life or, at the very least, slow down further accumulation of inequalities.

  • 18.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Thorslund, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Enduring inequality: educational disparities in health among the oldest old in Sweden 1992-20112015In: International Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1661-8556, E-ISSN 1661-8564, Vol. 60, no 1, p. 91-98Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: Although the past two decades have involved changes in the living conditions of the oldest old in Sweden, little is known about how health inequalities have developed in this group during the period. This study explores the educational disparities in a wide range of health outcomes among the oldest old in Sweden between 1992 and 2011.

    METHODS: The study uses the repeated cross-sectional design of the SWEOLD survey, a nationally representative survey of the oldest old in Sweden with comparable data from 1992, 2002, and 2011. The development of educational disparities in health was tracked across the three waves.

    RESULTS: The results show that although the prevalence of most health problems increased during the period, the prevalence of disability in activities of daily living decreased. Despite these changes, educational disparities in health remained largely unaffected.

    CONCLUSIONS: The results of the study suggest that the association between education and health is remarkably robust. It prevailed into the oldest age groups, was consistently found for a wide range of health problems, and tended to be stable over extended periods of time.

  • 19.
    Fors, Stefan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Thorslund, Mats
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Parker, Marti G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Do actions speak louder than words?: Self-assessed and performance based measures of physical and visual function among old people2006In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 15-21Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 20.
    Heap, Josephine
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Duration and accumulation of disadvantages in old age2015In: Social Indicators Research, ISSN 0303-8300, E-ISSN 1573-0921, Vol. 123, no 2, p. 411-429Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The probability of experiencing simultaneous disadvantages in more than one life domain seems to be higher for the oldest old people than younger age groups. However, the experience of coexisting disadvantages among older adults is relatively underexplored. We set out to analyse whether coexisting disadvantages among older people are long-lasting or temporary, and whether there are patterns of an accumulation of disadvantages in old age or not. We used nationally representative, longitudinal data between 1991 and 2011. Respondents were born between 1916 and 1934. The following disadvantages were included: lack of social resources, lack of political resources, lack of financial resources, psychological health problems, physical health problems and mobility limitations. Results suggest differing experiences of disadvantage in old age. We found that reporting coexisting disadvantages in 1991 increased the probability of reporting coexisting disadvantages in 2011, but the correlation was moderate. This indicates that for some people, coexisting disadvantages in old age is relatively stable, while for others it is a temporary experience. Reporting one disadvantage in 1991 also increased the probability of reporting coexisting disadvantages in 2011, suggesting a pattern of accumulation of disadvantages. Again, this pattern may not be generalised to all people. To a large extent the observed accumulation of disadvantages in old age seemed to be driven by physical health deterioration and mobility limitations.

  • 21.
    Heap, Josephine
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Coexisting Disadvantages in later Life: Demographic and Socio-Economic Inequalities2017In: Journal of Population Ageing, ISSN 1874-7884, E-ISSN 1874-7876, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 247-267Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this study, we aimed to identify which of certain demographic and socio-economic groups in the oldest part of the population that have an increased probability of experiencing simultaneous disadvantages in different life domains - here termed coexisting disadvantages. To do so, we compared analyses of coexisting disadvantages, measured as two or more simultaneous disadvantages, with analyses of single disadvantages and specific combinations of disadvantages. Indicators of physical health problems, ADL limitations, psychological health problems, limited financial resources, and limited social resources were included. We used nationally representative data from 2011 on people aged 76 and older in Sweden (n = 765). Results showed that coexisting disadvantages were associated with specific demographic and socio-economic groups, particularly certain marital status groups. Moreover, the differences between the demographic and socio-economic groups were only found for those who reported coexisting disadvantages, and not for those who reported only one disadvantage, which suggests that demographic and social factors become more important as disadvantages compound. Further, we analysed pairwise combinations of disadvantages. We found that different combinations of disadvantages tended to be associated with different groups, information useful from a social planning perspective since different combinations of disadvantages may imply different needs for help and support.

  • 22.
    Heap, Josephine
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Work. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Coexisting disadvantages in later life: Demographic and socio-economic inequalitiesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 23. Hossin, Zakir
    et al.
    Östergren, Olof
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Is the Association Between Late Life Morbidity and Disability Attenuated Over Time? Exploring the Dynamic Equilibrium of Morbidity Hypothesis2017In: The journals of gerontology. Series B, Psychological sciences and social sciences, ISSN 1079-5014, E-ISSN 1758-5368Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective:

    There is evidence suggesting that the prevalence of disability in late life has declined over time while the prevalence of chronic diseases has increased. The dynamic equilibrium of morbidity hypothesis suggests that these patterns are due to the attenuation of the morbidity-disability link over time. This study aimed to test this assumption empirically.

    Methods:

    Data were drawn from three repeated cross-sections of SWEOLD, a nationally representative survey of the Swedish population aged 77 years and older. Poisson regression models were fitted to assess the trends in the prevalence of Activities of Daily Living (ADL) disability, Instrumental ADL (IADL) disability, and selected groups of chronic conditions. The changes in the associations between chronic conditions and disabilities were examined on both multiplicative and additive scales.

    Results:

    Between 1992 and 2011, the prevalence of both ADL and IADL disabilities decreased whereas the prevalence of nearly all chronic morbidities increased. Significant attenuations of the morbidity-disability associations were found for cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, poor lung function, and psychological distress.

    Discussion:

    In agreement with the dynamic equilibrium of morbidity hypothesis, this study concludes that the morbidity-disability associations among the Swedish older adults largely waned between 1992 and 2011.

  • 24.
    Kelfve, Susanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Getting better all the time? Selective attrion and compositional changes in longitudinal and life-course studiesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 25.
    Kelfve, Susanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Linköping University, Sweden.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Getting better all the time? Selective attrition and compositional changes in longitudinal and life course studies2017In: Longitudinal and life course studies, ISSN 1124-9064, E-ISSN 1757-9597, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 104-119Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Longitudinal surveys are valuable tools for investigating health and social outcomes across the life course. In such studies, selective mortality leads to changes in the social composition of the sample, but little is known about how selective survey participation affects the sample composition, in addition to the selective mortality. In the present paper, we followed a Swedish cohort sample over six waves 1968-2011. For each wave we recalculated the distribution of baseline characteristics in the sample among i) the sample still alive and ii) the sample still alive and with complete follow-up. The results show that the majority of the compositional changes in the cohort were modest and driven mainly by mortality. However, for some characteristics, class in particular, the selection was considerable and in addition, was substantially compounded by survey non-participation. We suggest that sample selections should be taken into account when interpreting the results of longitudinal studies, in particular when researching social inequalities.

  • 26.
    Kelfve, Susanne
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Linköping University, Sweden.
    Wastesson, Jonas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    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).
    Johnell, Kristina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Morin, Lucas
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Is the level of education associated with transitions between care settings in older adults near the end of life? A nationwide, retrospective cohort study2018In: Palliative Medicine: A Multiprofessional Journal, ISSN 0269-2163, E-ISSN 1477-030X, Vol. 32, no 2, p. 366-375Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: End-of-life transitions between care settings can be burdensome for older adults and their relatives. Aim: To analyze the association between the level of education of older adults and their likelihood to experience care transitions during the final months before death. Design: Nationwide, retrospective cohort study using register data. Setting/participants: Older adults (65 years) who died in Sweden in 2013 (n = 75,722). Place of death was the primary outcome. Institutionalization and multiple hospital admissions during the final months of life were defined as secondary outcomes. The decedents' level of education (primary, secondary, or tertiary education) was considered as the main exposure. Multivariable analyses were stratified by living arrangement and adjusted for sex, age at time of death, illness trajectory, and number of chronic diseases. Results: Among community-dwellers, older adults with tertiary education were more likely to die in hospitals than those with primary education (55.6% vs 49.9%; odds ratio (OR) = 1.21, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.14-1.28), but less likely to be institutionalized during the final month before death (OR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.76-0.91). Decedents with higher education had greater odds of remaining hospitalized continuously during their final 2 weeks of life (OR = 1.12, 95% CI = 1.02-1.22). Among older adults living in nursing homes, we found no association between the decedents' level of education and their likelihood to be hospitalized or to die in hospitals. Conclusion: Compared with those who completed only primary education, individuals with higher educational attainment were more likely to live at home until the end of life, but also more likely to be hospitalized and die in hospitals.

  • 27.
    Lennartsson, Carin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Sociala skillnader i hälsa bland äldre2012In: Den orättvisa hälsan: Om socioekonomiska skillnader i hälsa och livslängd / [ed] Mikael Rostila, Susanna Toivanen, Stockholm: Liber, 2012, p. 342-360Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 28.
    Nilsen, Charlotta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Andel, Ross
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Meinow, Bettina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Mattsson, Alexander Darin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Kåreholt, Ingemar
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Associations between work-related stress in late midlife, educational attainment, and serious health problems in old age: a longitudinal study with over 20 years of follow-up2014In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 14, p. 878-Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: People spend a considerable amount of time at work over the course of their lives, which makes the workplace important to health and aging. However, little is known about the potential long-term effects of work-related stress on late-life health. This study aims to examine work-related stress in late midlife and educational attainment in relation to serious health problems in old age. Methods: Data from nationally representative Swedish surveys were used in the analyses (n = 1,502). Follow-up time was 20-24 years. Logistic regressions were used to examine work-related stress (self-reported job demands, job control, and job strain) in relation to serious health problems measured as none, serious problems in one health domain, and serious problems in two or three health domains (complex health problems). Results: While not all results were statistically significant, high job demands were associated with higher odds of serious health problems among women but lower odds of serious health problems among men. Job control was negatively associated with serious health problems. The strongest association in this study was between high job strain and complex health problems. After adjustment for educational attainment some of the associations became statistically nonsignificant. However, high job demands, remained related to lower odds of serious problems in one health domain among men, and low job control remained associated with higher odds of complex health problems among men. High job demands were associated with lower odds of complex health problems among men with low education, but not among men with high education, or among women regardless of level of education. Conclusions: The results underscore the importance of work-related stress for long-term health. Modification to work environment to reduce work stress (e.g., providing opportunities for self-direction/monitoring levels of psychological job demands) may serve as a springboard for the development of preventive strategies to improve public health both before and after retirement.

  • 29.
    Rehnberg, Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Almquist, Ylva B.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences.
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Poverty after 63: the impact of selective mortalityManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: The amount and share of older people in developed countries are growing dramatically and poverty among them is relatively high. If life expectancy continues to increase and a larger segment of the population reaches old age, we may expect to see increased poverty rates among the old.

    Objective: The objective of this study was to examine poverty rates in six cohorts aged 63-101 in Sweden during 1990 to 2006, as well as the impact of selective mortality on old age poverty rates during the study period.

    Methods: We used Swedish total population data with 1 293 434 individual observations. We calculated poverty rates for six cohorts of women and men aged 63 to 86 at baseline, and followed the cohorts for 15 years. The impact of selective mortality on poverty rates was assessed by comparing poverty in the complete cohort with a sample of the cohort that survived for the duration of the follow-up period.

    Results: Poverty rates increased with age for men and women in all six cohorts. Women experienced substantially higher poverty rates than did men. Those who survived during the 15-year follow-up period had 8-32 percent lower poverty rate at baseline compared to the complete cohort poverty rate. Men experienced larger poverty differences between the complete cohort sample and the survivor sample in the younger cohorts than did women. Women experienced larger poverty differences between the complete sample and the survivor sample in the oldest cohort than did men.

    Conclusion: Selective mortality influences poverty rates greatly. In a scenario where everyone lives longer and other things is held constant, the results from this study suggest that poverty rates among the old could be substantially higher.

  • 30.
    Rehnberg, Johan
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI). Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Public Health Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Divergence and Convergence: How Do Income Inequalities in Mortality Change over the Life Course?2019In: Gerontology, ISSN 0304-324X, E-ISSN 1423-0003, Vol. 65, no 3, p. 313-322Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Do inequalities in health by income increase or decrease with age? The empirical evidence is not conclusive and competing theories arrive at different conclusions.

    OBJECTIVE: This study examined inequality in mortality by income over the adult life course with longitudinal data on people aged 30-99 between the years 1990 and 2009. Each person was followed for 19 years.

    METHODS: We used Swedish total population data with 5,011,414 individual observations. We calculated the probability of having died for ages between 31 and 99. This approach to calculating death risk incorporates selective mortality during the follow-up period into the measure. Age and year standardized income positions were calculated for all individuals. Inequality was assessed by comparing the top 10% income group and the bottom 10% income group. Relative inequality was measured by risk ratios (RR) and absolute inequality by percentage point differences.

    RESULTS: The results showed that the highest relative income inequality in mortality was at age 56 for men (RR: 4.7) and at age 40 for women (RR: 4.1) with differing patterns across the younger age categories between the sexes. The highest absolute income inequality in mortality was found at age 78 for men (19% difference) and at age 89 for women (14% difference) with similar patterns for both sexes. Both measures of inequality decreased after the peak, with small or no inequalities above age 95. Income inequality in mortality remained in advanced age, with larger absolute inequalities in older ages and larger relative inequalities in younger ages.

    CONCLUSION: The results for absolute and relative measures of inequality differed substantially; this highlights the importance of discussing and making an active choice of inequality measure. To explain and understand the patterns of inequality in mortality over the adult life course, we conclude that the "age-as-leveler" and "cumulative disadvantage" theories are best applied to an absolute measure of inequality.

  • 31. Shaw, Benjamin A.
    et al.
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Lennartsson, Carin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Who Lives Alone During Old Age? Trends in the Social and Functional Disadvantages of Sweden's Solitary Living Older Adults2018In: Research on Aging, ISSN 0164-0275, E-ISSN 1552-7573, Vol. 40, no 9, p. 815-838Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study identifies specific social and functional disadvantages associated with living alone during old age in Sweden and assesses whether these associations have changed during recent decades. Data came from repeated cross-sectional surveys of Swedish adults aged 77+ during 1992-2014. Findings indicate that several types of disadvantage are consistently associated with the probability of living alone including financial insecurity and having never married for women and having never married and mobility impairment for men. Also for older men, low education has become an increasing strong determinant of living alone. These findings suggest that older adults who live alone are a subgroup that is particularly, and in some cases increasingly, vulnerable with respect to social and functional status. This has important policy implications related to addressing the needs of this growing subgroup as well as methodological implications for studies on the health effects of living alone.

  • 32. Shaw, Benjamin A.
    et al.
    McGeever, Kelly
    Vasquez, Elizabeth
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Socioeconomic inequalities in health after age 50: Are health risk behaviors to blame?2014In: Social Science and Medicine, ISSN 0277-9536, E-ISSN 1873-5347, Vol. 101, p. 52-60Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Recent studies indicate that socioeconomic inequalities in health extend into the elderly population, even within the most highly developed welfare states. One potential explanation for socioeconomic inequalities in health focuses on the role of health behaviors, but little is known about the degree to which health behaviors account for health inequalities among older adults, in particular. Using data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 19,245), this study examined the degree to which four behavioral risk factors smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, and heavy drinking are associated with socioeconomic position among adults aged 51 and older, and whether these behaviors mediate socioeconomic differences in mortality, and the onset of disability among those who were disability-free at baseline, over a 10-year period from 1998 to 2008. Results indicate that the odds of both smoking and physical inactivity are higher among persons with lower wealth, with similar stratification in obesity, but primarily among women. The odds of heavy drinking decrease at lower levels of wealth. Significant socioeconomic inequalities in mortality and disability onset are apparent among older men and women; however, the role that health behaviors play in accounting for these inequalities differs by age and gender. For example, these health behaviors account for between 23 and 45% of the mortality disparities among men and middle aged women, but only about 5% of the disparities found among women over 65 years. Meanwhile, these health behaviors appear to account for about 33% of the disparities in disability onset found among women survivors, and about 9-14% among men survivors. These findings suggest that within the U.S. elderly population, behavioral risks such as smoking and physical inactivity contribute moderately to maintaining socioeconomic inequalities in health. As such, promoting healthier lifestyles among the socioeconomically disadvantaged older adults should help to reduce later life health inequalities.

  • 33.
    Sundberg, Louise
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Trends in health expectancies among the oldest old in Sweden, 1992-20112016In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 26, no 6, p. 1069-1074Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Information on the extent to which older people's increasing life expectancy is characterized by good or poor health is important for policy and fiscal planning. This study explores trends in health expectancies among the oldest old in Sweden from 1992 to 2011. Methods: Cross-sectional health expectancy estimates at age 77 were obtained for 1992, 2002, 2004 and 2011 by Sullivan's method. Health expectancy was assessed by severe disability, mild disability and mobility problems. Changes in health expectancies were decomposed into the contributions attributed to changes of mortality rates, and changes in disability and mobility prevalence. Mortality data were obtained from Statistics Sweden and prevalence data from two nationally representative surveys, the Swedish Panel Study of Living Conditions of the Oldest Old and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe. Results: Years free from severe disability, mild disability and mobility problems increased in both men and women. Decomposition analysis indicates that the increase was mainly driven by the change in health status rather than change in mortality. In relation to total life expectancy, the general patterns suggest that women had a compression of health problems and men an expansion. Conclusion: Men's life expectancy increased more than women's; however, the increased life expectancy among men was mainly characterized by disability and mobility problems. The results suggest that the gender gap in health expectancy is decreasing.

  • 34.
    Sundberg, Louise
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Agahi, Neda
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fritzell, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Why is the gender gap in life expectancy decreasing? The impact of age- and cause-specific mortality in Sweden 1997-20142018In: International Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1661-8556, E-ISSN 1661-8564, Vol. 63, no 6, p. 673-681Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To enhance the understanding of the current increase in life expectancy and decreasing gender gap in life expectancy. We obtained data on underlying cause of death from the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden for 1997 and 2014 and used Arriaga's method to decompose life expectancy by age group and 24 causes of death. Decreased mortality from ischemic heart disease had the largest impact on the increased life expectancy of both men and women and on the decreased gender gap in life expectancy. Increased mortality from Alzheimer's disease negatively influenced overall life expectancy, but because of higher female mortality, it also served to decrease the gender gap in life expectancy. The impact of other causes of death, particularly smoking-related causes, decreased in men but increased in women, also reducing the gap in life expectancy. This study shows that a focus on overall changes in life expectancies may hide important differences in age- and cause-specific mortality. It also emphasizes the importance of addressing modifiable lifestyle factors to reduce avoidable mortality.

  • 35.
    Wastesson, Jonas W.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fastbom, Johan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Ringbäck Weitoft, Gunilla
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Johnell, Kristina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Socioeconomic inequalities in access to specialized psychotropic prescribing among older Swedes: a register-based study2014In: European Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1101-1262, E-ISSN 1464-360X, Vol. 24, no 6, p. 991-996Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Mental disorders among older adults are mainly treated with psychotropic drugs. Few of these drugs are, however, prescribed by specialized geriatricians or psychiatrists, but rather from general practitioners (GPs). Socioeconomic inequalities in access to specialist prescribing have been found in younger age groups. Hence, we aimed to investigate whether there are socioeconomic differences in access to geriatrician and psychiatrist prescribing of psychotropic drugs among older adults. Methods: By record-linkage of The Swedish Prescribed Drug Register and The Swedish Education Register, we obtained information for persons aged 75-89 years who had filled a prescription for psychotropic drugs (antipsychotics, anxiolytics, hypnotic/sedatives or antidepressants) with information on prescriber specialty from July to October 2005 (n = 221 579). Multinomial regression analysis was used to investigate whether education was associated with geriatrician and psychiatrist prescribing of psychotropic drugs. Results: The vast majority of the psychotropic drugs were prescribed by 'GPs and other specialists' (similar to 95% GPs). Older adults with higher educational level were more likely to be prescribed psychotropic drugs from psychiatrists and geriatricians. However, after adjustment for place of residence, the association between patient's education and prescription by a geriatrician disappeared, whereas the association with seeing a psychiatrist was only attenuated. Conclusion: Access to specialized prescribing of psychotropics is unequally distributed between socioeconomic groups of older adults in Sweden. This finding was partially confounded by place of residence for geriatrician but not for psychiatrist prescribing. Further research should examine if inequalities in specialized psychotropic prescribing translate into worse outcomes for socioeconomically deprived and non-metropolitan-living older individuals.

  • 36.
    Wastesson, Jonas W.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Fors, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Parker, Marti G.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Johnell, Kristina
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
    Inequalities in health care use among older adults in Sweden 1992-2011: A repeated cross-sectional study of Swedes aged 77 years and older.2014In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 42, no 8, p. 795-803Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    AIMS: In the last decades, the Swedish health care system was reformed to promote free choice; however, it has been questioned whether older adults benefit from these reforms. It has also been proposed that reforms promoting free choice might increase inequalities in health care use. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate socioeconomic differences in health care use among older adults in Sweden, from 1992 to 2011.

    METHODS: The Swedish Panel Study of the Living Conditions of the Oldest Old (SWEOLD) is a nationally representative study of Swedes over 76 years old, including both institutionalized and community-dwelling persons. We analyzed cross-sectional data from SWEOLD waves in 1992, 2002 and 2011 (n ≈ 600/wave); and performed multivariate analyses to investigate whether socioeconomic position was associated with health care use (inpatient, outpatient and dental services) after need was accounted for.

    RESULTS: For the period of 1992-2011, we found that higher education was associated with more use of outpatient and dental care, both before and after adjustment for need. The association between education and inpatient or outpatient care use did not change over time. There was an increase in the proportion of older adults whom used dental care over the 19-year period, and there was a tendency for the socioeconomic differences regarding dentist visits to decrease over time.

    CONCLUSIONS: Our study covering 19 years showed relatively stable findings for socioeconomic differences in health care use among older adults in Sweden. We found there was a slight decrease in inequality in dental care; but unchanged socioeconomic differences in outpatient care, regardless of the changes that occurred in the Swedish health care system.

1 - 36 of 36
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