Reducing Economic Disparity to Achieve Better Health: Modelling the Effect of Adjustments to Income Adequacy on Self-Reported Morbidity Among the Elderly in Canada
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Class differentials in health have been documented extensively in the sociological literature of the past two decades. Although sociologists have been concerned with analyzing the relationship between social class and health, less attention has been paid to modelling the effects of minimizing social disparities on health outcomes. From a sub-sample (N = 1,943) of elderly respondents aged 65 and over, four logistic regression equations where income adequacy was shown to be correlated with morbidity were selected. By adjusting the scores on the income adequacy variable, we were able to model the effect of shifting individuals from lower to higher income groups. The most dramatic results were obtained after all respondents were shifted into the highest income adequacy classification. A more realistic hypothetical model, the transfer of individuals from the lowest income group to the next category, produced the least attractive reduction in morbidity. Obviously, income adjustment alone is insufficient. Findings are discussed in terms of interventions to prevent economic disparity in old age.
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