Gender Differences in Transitions in Functional Disability among Older Singaporeans: 1995 - 1999

Angelique Chan, National University of Singapore

Older ages are often associated with an increase in functional disability and a general decline in health status. Females typically experience higher rates of morbidity compared to males and this is true in both Western and Asian settings. While this gender difference in rates has been documented, gender differences in the factors determining the onset of, or recovery from, disability have not been extensively studied. I examine changes in prevalence rates of functional disability among older Singaporeans, by gender, and estimate transition rates in functional disability controlling for gender and select compositional characteristics. I use panel data on 1,977 individuals aged 55 and above in 1995. Preliminary results suggest no gender differences in change in prevalence rates over time and in the probability of transiting into a disabled state. However, older males are more likely to recover from a disabled state by the second survey wave compared to older females.

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Presented in Session 132: Gender and Health in Developing Countries