Socio-economic inequalities in health among older adults in two rural sub-districts in India and Bangladesh: a comparative cross-sectional study

Mijanur Rahman, Hafiz T. A. Khan, Trish Hafford-Letchfield, Ratna Sultana

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Health inequalities have been observed among older people in many developing countries, particularly among those with least social protection and low socio-economic (SES) status. This study attempted to examine effects of SES on the health of older adults, and related gender differences, in two rural sub-districts - Matlab, Bangladesh and Vadu, India. The study utilised the WHO SAGE-INDEPTH Wave 1, 2007 Matlab, Bangladesh and Vadu, Pune District, India datasets. Both gender and SES indicators were strongly associated with all health indicators of older adults in the Bangladesh site, whereas in India, education and asset quintiles were not consistently associated with self-rated health, quality of life and functional ability score but gender was consistently associated with all health indicators except the quality of life score. The SES-health gradient was noticeably higher amongst older adults in Matlab, Bangladesh than in Vadu, India. Education was also found to be an important predictor of health outcome in both sites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-305
Number of pages13
JournalAsian Population Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Sep 2017


  • socio-economic status
  • health indicators
  • older adults
  • Bangladesh
  • India

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