Health and Socio-Economic Status of the Chinese Elderly

Xiaoyan Lei, Peking University
John Strauss, University of Southern California
Xiaoting Sun, Peking University

Using the 2011-2012 national baseline of the Chinese Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), we document health outcomes of the Chinese elderly and examine the relation between these health outcomes and socio-economic status. CHARLS has a very rich set of health indicators that include both self-reported measures and biomarkers. As expected, we find that Chinese elderly are facing challenges from chronic diseases such as hypertension and underdiagnosis of it is common. Overnutrition has become a bigger problem than undernutrition, reflected as higher rate of overweight but not underweight. The problem is generally more serious for women than for men. Disability rate is also high, especially for rural women, who also report to suffer more from pain. Moreover, we find different health gradients of socio-economic status measured by education and per capita household consumption expenditure.

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Presented in Session 76: SES and Health and Mortality