A gender perspective of health in an ageing population: a Portuguese study from the NHS

Ana Fernandes, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Amália Botelho, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
António Marques, Escola Superior de Saúde do Instituto Politécnico de Setúbal
Paula Gil, Instituto Nacional de Saúde
Inês Gomes, Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Rita Burnay, Universidade Nova de Lisboa

In a population ageing context new issues arise. The health status of people in later life depends, in part, on the health capital built up over a lifetime, but also on the resources, capacities and in the individual current context. Therefore, it is appropriate to identify and analyze the similarities and differences in health needs between men and women, as well as identify and analyze the gender-based obstacles that prevent women and men from realizing their potential health. This study using statistical analysis on data from the National Health Survey (NHS) has developed a multivariated model that provides relevant information on gender analysis in health and in health care among Portuguese above 50 years old. In general, the oldest Portuguese population has unfavorable social conditions for health (eg low levels of education, low income). However, there is obvious gender differences associated with aging, ie, the differences in terms of social and cultural experiences that individuals accumulate throughout their lives, and are more intense and aggravated in old age. Portuguese old women, report lower levels of education, mostly illiterate and a greater risk of poverty associated with lower income and status. Women also have poorer health, but are older and have higher levels of comorbidity. Evidence shows that women have a healthier lifestyle than men, however the implementation of healthy practices does not match with a good state of health. Individual health state and unhealthy behaviors aren’t directly associated with men or with women, but seem to be associated with lower income and unskilled labor activity.

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Presented in Poster Session 1