Studying Gender Differentials in Health Using an Active Life Expectancy Approach: The Case of Older Adults in Japan

Angelique Chan, National University of Singapore
Zachary Zimmer, University of Utah

This study has two aims: (i) examine gender differentials in total and active life expectancy (ALE) among older adults in Japan and, (ii) account for these differentials using predictor variables that represent four domains often thought to intervene in the association between gender and health - behaviours, socioeconomic characteristics, psychological characteristics, social support. The latter domain may be of particular consequence given gender differences in intergenerational ties thought to shape relationships within Asian families. Active and inactive states are defined using Activities of Daily Living. Expected years of life and active life are examined by constructing multi-state life-tables, which employ probabilities of health and mortality transitions derived from hazard rate models. Preliminary results indicate older women in Japan spend more of remaining life in inactive states, and some their disadvantage is explained by factors representing intervening domains. The discussion will highlight the implications of our findings for an aging Japan.

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Presented in Session 173: Disability and Active Life Expectancy in Asian Populations