Socioeconomic Differences in Disability by Age in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Cross-National Study Using the World Health Survey

Yentéma Onadja, Université de Montréal
Simona Bignami, Université de Montréal
Maria-Victoria Zunzunegui, Université de Montréal

Research in various social contexts has documented that disability is more common among adults with lower education, but it is unclear whether this association also holds in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Furthermore, whether the education-disability relationship changes or remains static with increasing age remains unexplored in SSA. This study aims to examine the association of education with multiple disability measures among adults aged 18 and older in 18 sub-Saharan African countries, and to determine whether educational differences in disability are characterized by an increase, decrease or stability with age. Data for this study come from the World Health Survey conducted in 2002-2004 by the WHO. Findings indicated that low education was positively associated with poor functional health, and the health gap between educational levels remains static with age. These findings suggest that the less educated have less health-related resources which have beneficial, constant effects on functional health over age in SSA.

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Presented in Poster Session 6: Population Aging; Gender, Race and Ethnicity