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Gender Differences in Health and Health Determinants among Older Persons in Jamaica

Gender Differences in Health and Health Determinants among Older Persons in Jamaica

Dr Douladel Willie Tyndale
Faculty of Medical Sciences
The Aging Centre
Pharmaceuticals, Nutraceuticals, Health and Well-Being

Health is affected by social,economic, and biological factors which are often disproportionately distributed between genders. Identifying differences will facilitate evidence-based responses.This paper examines gender differences in chronic diseases and risk factors among persons ≥60 years. A nationally-representative, community-based survey (N = 2943) was conducted in 2012. Interviewers collected demographic, socio-economic, health, and lifestyle data. Clinical data were obtained from a randomly selected sub-sample (n = 373). To report gender differences, age-adjusted odds-ratios are presented (men as reference).

Men comprised 48% (n = 1412) of the sample and women 52% (n = 1531). Women were older,with higher educational attainment and were less likely to be married/common-law, live in rural areas, and live alone (Table 1). Women more commonly reported chronic diseases including arthritis, hypertension, depression, and heart disease but less commonly reported cancer(Table 2). Women were more likely to report physical inactivity, beobese and havehigh cholesterol. Women were less likely to have ever worked, be currently working, planned for retirement, or have health insurance (Table 3).

Findings and Relevance

Older women are disproportionately affected by chronic diseases and several health and socio-economic determinants. Targeted interventions are needed to improve their health and living conditions.


Mitchell-Fearon K, Willie-Tyndale D, Mckoy-Davis J, Waldron NK, Nevins DH, Eldemire-Shearer D. Health and gender: What is the situation with older persons and how do we address healthcare needs? WIMJ Open [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2018 Nov 8];4(1):1. Available from:

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