A Contextual Analysis of Health and Wellbeing of Older Persons in South Africa: Do District Conditions Matter?

Margaret L. Ralston, University of Missouri, Columbia

Most research conducted on older persons’ health and wellbeing in South Africa focuses on the influence of individual and household-level characteristics, but few studies have focused on the effect of contextual factors. The cornerstone of the post-apartheid South Africa health policy is delivery of health care through a district health system. Using a nationally representative sample from WHO Study of Global Ageing and Adult Health (WHO-SAGE) and sources of district level data, I will explore factors associated with indicators of wellbeing and health, accounting for persons’ potentially different district contexts. This paper utilizes multilevel modeling to regress wellbeing measures on district and individual level factors. The purpose of this research is to explore how the contextual factors of the districts in which older South Africans live, including district relative deprivation and healthcare infrastructure quality, influence their health in the framework of increased rates of AIDS and non-communicable diseases.

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Presented in Poster Session 7