Gender differences in exposure to social resources play a significant role in influencing gender inequalities in health. A related question--and our focus--asks whether these inequalities are also influenced by gendered vulnerabilities to social forces. Specifically, this paper examines the differential impact of social forces on the health of elderly (65+) men and women. METHODS:

Multiple linear regression analysis is used to estimate gender differences in the influence of socioeconomic, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors on both self-rated health and overall functional health using data from the 1994-1995 National Population Health Survey. RESULTS:

Key findings include: 1) the relationship between income and health is significant for older women only, whereas the converse holds for education; 2) having an acceptable body weight is positively associated with health for elderly women only; and 3) stress-related factors are stronger determinants of health for older women. INTERPRETATION:

Our findings shed light on the processes of healthy aging for men and women, and suggest that interventions to improve the health of elderly Canadians need to be gender-specific.

Canadian Journal of Public Health
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Prus, S.G, & Gee, E. (Ellen). (2003). Gender differences in the influence of economic, lifestyle, and psychosocial factors on later-life health. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 94(4), 306–309.