Life course influences on later life health in China: Childhood health exposure and socioeconomic mediators during adulthood

Hal Kendig, Cathy Honge Gong, Vasoontara Yiengprugsawan, Merril D Silverstein, James Nazroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

China's unprecedented population aging and social and economic change raise important issues concerning life course determinants of advantage or disadvantage into later life. Data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) 2013 were analysed to identify the influence of childhood health on later life health as indicated by self-rated health and how this influence could be mediated by social and economic positions (SEP) and resources later in the life span. CHARLS provides nationally representative data on 18, 000 individuals aged 45 years and above in approximately 150 districts and 450 villages. Both multivariate logit regression model and KHB method (Karlson/Holm/Breen method) were applied to examine and decompose the life span influences on later life health. The results show that the childhood health, accounts for approximately half of the effect directly and another half of the effect indirectly through social and economic variations during adulthood. Relative living standard, marital status and urban residence are the most significant and important social and economic mediators for men; For women, living standard and secondary schooling are most influential while marital status is not significant. Implications for social and economic policies to improve later life health are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-802
Number of pages8
JournalSSM - Population Health
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

Keywords

  • Childhood health
  • China
  • Direct and indirect influences
  • Exposure-mediator interaction
  • KHB decomposition
  • Later life health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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