Self-reported physical health among the aged in Wuhan, China

Type Journal Article - Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology
Title Self-reported physical health among the aged in Wuhan, China
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 1993
Page numbers 225-251
It has long been recognized that cross-cultural differences in health and
illness reflect not only genuine variation in the incidence and prevalence of morbidity,
disability, and mortality, but also the social processes by which these data were
generated. These processes may be far removed from the biological reality. The
conceptualization and measurement of physical health, therefore, can benefit, from
adopting a comparative perspective. This paper alms to extend the generalizability of a
three-dimensional model of self-reported physical health among the aged to China. Data
came from a probability sample of approximately 2,700 urban and rural Chinese, aged 60
or older, living in the Wuhan area. The model, which consists of chronic illness,
functional status, and self-rated health as three interrelated dimensions, was previously
evaluated empirically using national data on the aged gathered in the U.S. and Japan. The
model, which was found to apply equally well to the American and Japanese aged, also
fit the Chinese data well. However, results also indicated cross-national differences (1) in
the effects of age and sex on the prevalence of chronic disease and disability and (2) in
the effects of education on disability and self-rated health.

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