Educational Disparities in Mortality Between Adults Aged 50–64 and 66–79 Years, U.S.

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jiemin Ma PhD MHS
Strategic Director, Cancer Interventions Surveillance
American Cancer Society, Inc.
Atlanta, GA 30303

Jiemin Ma PhD MHS Strategic Director, Cancer Interventions Surveillance American Cancer Society, Inc. Atlanta, GA 30303

Dr. Jiemin Ma

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous studies have shown that educational disparities are smaller in the elderly than in working-aged Americans. The differences may partly be explained by the higher health insurance coverage among the elderly (near universal coverage through Medicare for adults aged 65), as well as some aging-related changes in lifestyle and social factors (e.g. retirement). Some of the previous studies were limited by the use of proxy-reported educational information, which tended to be inaccurate for the elderly.

Our study used self-reported educational attainment to estimate relative differences in educational disparities in mortality rates between adults aged 50–64 and 66–79 years in a national representative cohort from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS).

We found that educational disparities in all-cause mortality for ages 66–79 years were about 41% and 61% lower than those for ages 50–64 years in non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic blacks, respectively. Diminished disparities in the elderly were also found for deaths from cardiovascular disease and cancer among non-Hispanic Americans.

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Relative educational disparity in all-cause mortality for adults aged 66–79 years is about half that of ages 50–64 years in non-Hispanics. Various factors may have contributed to diminished disparities in the elderly, including differences in access to care, health perception, stress level, lifestyle, and health behaviors with advancing age.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Future studies should aim to quantify the contributions of these proposed factors for the observed differences in educational disparities between age groups.

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Citation:

Educational Disparities in Mortality Between Adults Aged 50–64 and 66–79 Years, U.S.
Ma, Jiemin et al.
American Journal of Preventive Medicine , Volume 0 , Issue 0 ,

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