The relation between educational attainment and healthy ageing

Patrick Deboosere, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Karel Neels, University of Antwerp

In the face of unprecedented population ageing, the narrow link between ageing, health and disability has become a crucial research question with important policy implications. The aim of this paper is to explore the consequences of increasing longevity on healthy life expectancy using an exceptionally large dataset where educational attainment and a limited set of health questions have been linked to data from the mortality register allowing a 39 month follow-up period. Given the importance of factors related to education in accounting for past gains in life expectancy, analysis on the relation between education, health and mortality in developed countries can shed further light on likely future developments of human longevity and morbidity at the end of life. Using several indicators of morbidity and disability the analysis indicates that educational attainment is positively related to longevity and that the time spent in morbidity is compressed among higher educated relative to groups with lower levels of educational attainment.

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Presented in Session 58: Socio-Economic Differences in Disability