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Liao, Youlian; McGee, Daniel L.; Kaufman, Jay S.; Cao, Guichan; & Cooper, Richard S. (1999). Socioeconomic Status and Morbidity in the Last Years of Life. American Journal of Public Health, 89(4), 569-572. PMCID: PMC1508870


Objectives: This study evaluated the effect of socioeconomic status, as characterized by level of education, on morbidity and disability in the last years of life.
Methods: The analysis used data from the National Health Interview Survey (1986-1990), with mortality follow-up through December 1991.
Results: Among 10,932 decedents 50 years or older at baseline interview, educational attainment was inversely associated with long-term limitation of activity, number of chronic conditions, number of bed days, and days of short hospital stay during the year preceding the interview.
Conclusions: Decedents with higher socioeconomic status experienced lower morbidity and disability and better quality of life even in their last years of life.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health


Liao, Youlian
McGee, Daniel L.
Kaufman, Jay S.
Cao, Guichan
Cooper, Richard S.