Ethnic inequalities in limiting health and self-reported health in later life revisited

Evandrou, Maria, Falkingham, Jane, Feng, Zhixin and Vlachantoni, Athina (2015) Ethnic inequalities in limiting health and self-reported health in later life revisited Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, pp. 1-10. (doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206074). (PMID:26787199).


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Background: It is well established that there are ethnic inequalities in health in the UK; however such inequalities in later life remain a relatively under-researched area. This paper explores ethnic inequalities in health among older people in the UK, controlling for social and economic disadvantage.

Methods: This paper analyses the first wave (2009-2011) of Understanding Society to examine differentials in the health of older persons aged 60 and over. Two health outcomes are explored: the extent to which one’s health limits the ability to undertake typical activities and self-rated health. Logistic regression models are used to control for a range of other factors including income and deprivation.

Results: Even after controlling for social and economic disadvantage, Black and Minority Ethnic elders are still more likely than White British elders to report limiting-health and poor self-rated health. The ‘health disadvantage’ appears to be most marked amongst BME elders of South Asian origin with Pakistani elders exhibiting the poorest health outcomes. In separate models for men and women, Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Caribbean and African women, and Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men report worse health than their White British counterparts. Length of time resident in the UK does not have a direct impact on health in models for both genders, but is marginally significant for women.

Conclusion: Older people from ethnic minorities report poorer health outcomes even after controlling for social and economic disadvantages. This result reflects the complexity of health inequalities among different ethnic groups in the UK, and the need to develop health policies which take into account differences in social and economic resources between different ethnic groups.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1136/jech-2015-206074
ISSNs: 0143-005X (print)
Organisations: Gerontology
ePrint ID: 386193
Date :
Date Event
19 May 2015Submitted
22 December 2015Accepted/In Press
19 January 2016Published
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2016 09:37
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 04:25
Further Information:Google Scholar

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