Gender differences in trajectories of health limitations in Germany between 1995 and 2001. A study based on the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP).

Gabriele Doblhammer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Rasmus Hoffmann, University of Rostock

Our study analyzes for the first time disability trajectories in Germany over a seven-year period. Our objectives are (1) to identify different course types of disability, (2) to assess their relative frequency in a representative sample of the German population, and (3) to analyze their association with subsequent deaths in the period from 2002 to 2005. By exploring gender differences in health trajectories we try to improve our knowledge why women live longer but experience worse health. A cluster analysis identified eleven trajectories, which we group into three categories according to their average level of disability. We find significant gender differences in the distribution of trajectories in the youngest and in the oldest age group (50-59 and 80+). As expected we find higher mortality but more favourable disability trajectories for men. Women have lower mortality and this gender difference does not depend on the disability trajectory before death.

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Presented in Session 87: Sex Differentials