The main aims of this project involve describing discrepancies in functional health and mortality across samples of older adults living in rural and urban areas of China and examining the extent to which these can be explained with reference to a combination of individual and community-level characteristics. Three secondary data sources are employed. The China Health and Nutrition Survey and the Sampling Survey on the Status of the Elderly in Urban and Rural China cover large geographic areas. The Beijing Multidimensional Longitudinal Study of Aging incorporates the city of Beijing and rural environs. Functional status and mortality is first examined using descriptive techniques and estimates of active life expectancy that adjust years of life and functionally healthy life in urban versus rural areas by age and sex. Urban/rural discrepancies in health are then further explored using a variety of methodological techniques, including nested multivariate and multilevel models that combine and interact individual and community characteristics. Individual and community-level characteristics considered fall under domains of social support or cohesion, socioeconomic status, behaviors and access to or availability of health services. Community-level socioeconomic effects capture factors related to economic and labor market conditions and community infrastructure. Given rapid population aging in the developing world, the subsequent increasing concentration of mortality and morbidity at older ages, and the urban/rural gaps in economic development that characterize many countries, comparisons of health and mortality across urban and rural areas are deserving of attention. Yet, the topic has received only moderate interest in the developing world, particularly among older populations. This program of research is anticipated to fill that gap for China. ? ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-B (90))
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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University of Utah
Social Sciences
Schools of Arts and Sciences
Salt Lake City
United States
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Zimmer, Zachary; Wen, Ming; Kaneda, Toshiko (2010) A multi-level analysis of urban/rural and socioeconomic differences in functional health status transition among older Chinese. Soc Sci Med 71:559-567
Zimmer, Zachary; Kaneda, Toshiko; Tang, Zhe et al. (2010) Explaining Late Life Urban vs. Rural Health Discrepancies in Beijing. Soc Forces 88:1885-1908
Kaneda, Toshiko; Zimmer, Zachary; Fang, Xianghua et al. (2009) Gender Differences in Functional Health and Mortality Among the Chinese Elderly: Testing an Exposure Versus Vulnerability Hypothesis. Res Aging 31:361-388
Zimmer, Zachary; Kaneda, Toshiko; Spess, Laura (2007) An examination of urban versus rural mortality in China using community and individual data. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 62:S349-57