Gender differences in the onset of disease at old age: the effects of socio-economic and behavioural factors. Results from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing
Edlira Gjonca, University College London
Arjan Gjonca, London School of Economics
The aim of this paper is to observe the effect of socio-economic and behavioural factors at the onset of different chronic diseases such as CVD-s, cancers, and diabetes. Data and Method: This paper uses data from ELSA. We have a sample of 12,000 people aged over 50 reporting to have been diagnosed with one of the chronic diseases. Hazard models for the risk of becoming diagnosed were performed for both sexes, controlling for socio-economic and health behaviours variables. Results: The results show a clear female advantage with much lower hazard ratios than males for heart attacks, stroke, angina and diabetes. However, the opposite is true when cancers are concerned with females having higher hazard ratio. Social class was found to be negatively associated with the chance of being diagnosed with any of these chronic conditions. Smoking was positively associated in all cases while alcohol consumption was only positively associated in cases of heavy drinking.