July 22, 2015

CAAR – Program on the Global Demography of Aging [Harvard University] Working Paper – July 22, 2015

Filed under: Working Papers — Tags: , , , — admin @ 4:58 pm

Education, Gender, and State-Level Gradients in the Health of Older Indians: Evidence from Biomarker Data,” by Jinkook Lee, Mark E. McGovern, David E. Bloom, P. Arokiasamy, Arun Risbud, Jennifer O’Brien, Varsha Kale, and Peifeng Hu (PDGA Working Paper No. 121, February 2015, .pdf format, 32p.).


This paper examines health disparities in biomarkers among a representative sample of Indians aged 45 and older, using data from the pilot round of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Hemoglobin level, a marker for anemia, is lower for respondents with no schooling (0.7 g/dL less in the adjusted model) compared to those with some formal education. There are also substantial state and education gradients in underweight and overweight. The oldest old have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (1.1 mg/L greater than those aged 45-54), an indicator of inflammation and a risk factor for ardiovascular disease, as do those with greater body-mass index (an additional 1.2 mg/L for those who are obese compared to those who are of normal weight). We nd no evidence of educational or gender di erences in CRP, but respondents living in rural areas have CRP levels that are 0.8 mg/L lower than urban areas. We also find state-level disparities, with Kerala residents exhibiting the lowest CRP levels (1.96 mg/L compared to 3.28 mg/L in Rajasthan, the state with the highest CRP). We use the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition approach to explain group-level differences, and find that state-level gradients in CRP are mainly due to heterogeneity in the association of the observed characteristics of respondents with CRP, as opposed to di erences in the distribution of endowments across the sampled state populations.

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