Health Inequalities at Older Ages in the European Union: Findings from the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Carol Jagger, University of Leicester
Claire Weston, University of Leicester
Gabriele Doblhammer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Emmanuelle Cambois, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)
Herman Van Oyen, Scientific Institute of Public Health
Wilma Nusselder, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam
Jitka Rychtarikova, Charles University, Prague
Jean-Marie Robine, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)

Inequalities in life expectancy (LE) amongst European countries have been evident for some time, the major gaps being between the established EU countries (EU15) and the more recent members from Eastern European countries. The new EU structural indicator on health, Healthy Life Years (HLY) reveals even greater inequalities across Europe, though this is only one global measure of disability. This paper uses the Survey of Health and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) wave 2 to evaluate inequalities in a range of health expectancies that span the disablement process, at older ages in 13 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. We specifically investigate whether countries with the highest LE spend the extra years in better health and use hierarchical cluster analysis to explore similarities in the full range of health and life expectancies between the countries.

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Presented in Session 96: Comparative Health and Mortality in High-Income Countries