The close relation between health and economic status plays a prominent role in our current knowledge of disparities in quality of life over the lfe course. However, what we know about this important association comes from developed countries; much less is known about whether these relations are universal or how these forces work in poor, developing societies in which institutional safety nets are scarce or non-existent. I this proposed work, our goal is to identify how various dimensions of health affect economic well being for different groups in a rapidly aging country, Mexico. The proposed project has the following specific aims: 1) Identify the sources of economic wellbeing in old age in Mexico by different age cohorts and their changes in time. We examine the relative importance of labor earnings, pensions, family support and institutional aid towards economic wellbeing among older adults. 2) Assess the extent to which health impacts economic well-being among various groups defined by the safety nets available to them. Our over-arching hypothesis is that those with fewer safety net options will exhibit a stronger link from health to economic well-being. We use longitudinal data and measure how a variety of health dimensions including chronic disease, functionality, and cognitive ability affect later economic wellbeing using economic outcomes such as income and wealth. The proposed R03 project entails secondary data analysis using descriptive and multivariate longitudinal data techniques. The data comes from the Mexican Health and Aging Study, a longitudinal survey of adults aged 50 and over in Mexico, and highly comparable to the U.S. Health and Retirement Study. We examine differences by age cohorts, and time changes through three waves of the study covering the period 2001-2012, which spans over important structural and social changes occurred in Mexico, such as a move towards universal health insurance. The results of this study will contribute to subsequent work to build a model of long term health and economic relations for a rapidly-aging developing country, and contribute to understanding globally the sources of disparities in old-age well-being.

Public Health Relevance

This secondary analyses project identifies how health impacts economic well-being in old age using a series of health outcomes and economic indicators. The data source is a unique national longitudinal study and comes from a rapidly-aging developing country, Mexico.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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University of Texas Medical Br Galveston
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
United States
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