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» Educational and Sex Differentials in Life Expectancies and Disability-Free Life Expectancies in Brazil and Mexico

Educational and Sex Differentials in Life Expectancies and Disability-Free Life Expectancies in Brazil and Mexico

Latin America is experiencing one of the fastest increases in the older adult population in the world. Brazil and Mexico have not only made improvements in mortality and life expectancy, but they have also made progress in other social indicators. However, large social inequalities remain. Our paper assesses the relationship between age, sex, education, life expectancy, and disability-free life expectancy in the largest urban area in Brazil—São Paulo—as well as in urban areas in Mexico. We use a longitudinal sample of individuals aged 60 or older residing in São Paulo, Brazil, from the Survey on Health, Well-Being, and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean (SABE) and a nationally representative sample of Mexicans aged 60 or older living in urban areas from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS). We found large between-country educational differences in incidence of and recovery from disability with higher rates in Mexico than in São Paulo, but no differences in mortality. Older adults in Mexico spent longer time being disability-free than in São Paulo for both levels of education. Males and
females in São Paulo spent a larger fraction of their remaining life disabled at every age than their counterparts in urban areas in Mexico. This work is forthcoming in the Journal of Health and Aging (http://jah.sagepub.com/content/early/2013/06/18/0898264313491425.full.pdf).