Direkt zum Inhalt

Poverty and Transitions in Health in Later Life

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Maja Adena, Michal Myck

In: Social Science & Medicine 116 (2014), S. 202-210


Using a sample of Europeans aged 50+ from 12 countries in the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), we analyse the role of poor material conditions as a determinant of changes in health over a four- to five-year period. We find that poverty defined with respect to relative income has no effect on changes in health. However, broader measures of poor material conditions, such as subjective poverty or low wealth, significantly increase the probability of transition to poor health among the healthy and reduce the chance of recovery from poor health over the time interval analysed. In addition to this, the subjective measure of poverty has a significant effect on mortality, increasing it by 65% among men and by 68% among those aged 50–64. Material conditions affect health among older people. We suggest that if attempts to reduce poverty in later life and corresponding policy targets are to focus on the relevant measures, they should take into account broader definitions of poverty than those based only on relative incomes.

JEL-Classification: I14;I32;J14
Keywords: Health transitions, Material conditions, Poverty, Mortality