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Determinants of Gender Differences in Health among the Elderly in Latin America


Trujillo, Antonio J.; Mroz, Thomas A.; Piras, Claudia; Vernon, John A.; & Angeles, Gustavo (2010). Determinants of Gender Differences in Health among the Elderly in Latin America. World Health and Population, 11(3), 24-43.


This paper identifies the main gender differences in health and socio-economic characteristics of the elderly in four Latin American cities. Using locally weighted regressions as well as a flexible model specification that treats age non-parametrically, we investigate whether these unadjusted gender gaps in health are due to gender differences in the distribution of age and other explanatory variables. Interestingly, for all cities, the analyses show a gender gap in health in favour of males at each age. The gaps are larger when one uses functional impairment in mobility and personal self-care as indicators of an individual's health instead of self-reported health. Furthermore, controlling for demographic characteristics, baseline health and the availability of family support do little to change the disadvantage for women in measured health outcomes. Controlling for socio-economic variables does, however, reduce most of the gender differences in health.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

World Health and Population


Trujillo, Antonio J.
Mroz, Thomas A.
Piras, Claudia
Vernon, John A.
Angeles, Gustavo