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The aging process impacts the normal functioning of societies and the relative wellbeing, not just of the elderly, but also of the younger population. The most important impacts relate to pension and retirement systems, composition of the labor force, family living arrangements, intergenerational and intrafamily transfers, and the health of the elderly. The relative importance of each of these dimensions is, of course, variable and depends on local demographic regimes and institutional idiosyncrasies. What is certain, however, is that processes associated with the human aging process (i.e., the gradual impairment of physical and mental health, reduction in expected remaining years of active and healthy life, partial or complete withdrawal from labor market participation, and increased dependency on public and private income transfers) all dictate that growth in the elderly population will increase the demand for health care services. SABE is the first cross-national database for studying these issues in countries that are already experiencing an unprecedented rate of aging including Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico and Uruguay.

Study Objectives

  • Describe health conditions of elders (60+) with regard to chronic and acute conditions, disability, and physical and mental impairment with special attention to those aged 80+.
  • Evaluate elder's access to and use of health care services, including those located outside the formal medical establishment, and the conditions under which individuals seek access to and receive services.
  • Assess the relative contribution of three sources of support toward the satisfaction of health-related needs among the elderly, namely, family relations and networks, public assistance, and private resources (income and assets).
  • Analyze differentials in self-assessment of health conditions, declared access to health care, and sources of support particularly, but not exclusively, with respect to social class, gender and birth cohort.
  • Evaluate the relations between strategic factors, such as health-related behavior, occupational history, socioeconomic conditions, gender, and cohort on health conditions as assessed by individuals at the time of the survey and as reported for short recall periods before the survey.
  • Perform comparative analyses across countries who share important characteristics but who differ in a number of factors such as role of family support, public assistance, the medical establishment, and health related behaviors and exposure to risk conditions.

Please send questions, comments or suggestions to cdhadata@ssc.wisc.edu.