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Education, Gender, and State-Level Gradients in the Health of Older Indians: Evidence from Biomarker Data

Jinkook Lee (), Mark McGovern, David Bloom, P. Arokiasamy, Arun Risbud, Jennifer O?Brien, Varsha Kale and Peifeng Hu

Working Paper from Harvard University OpenScholar

Abstract: This paper examines health disparities in biomarkers among a representative sample of Indians aged 45 and older, using data from the pilot round of the Longitudinal Aging Study in India (LASI). Hemoglobin level, a marker for anemia, is lower for respondents with no schooling (0.7 g/dL less in the adjusted model) compared to those with some formal education. There are also substantial state and education gradients in underweight and overweight. The oldest old have higher levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) (1.1 mg/L greater than those aged 45-54), an indicator of inflammation and a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, as do those with greater body-mass index (an additional 1.2 mg/L for those who are obese compared to those who are of normal weight). We find no evidence of educational or gender differences in CRP, but respondents living in rural areas have CRP levels that are 0.8 mg/L lower than urban areas. We also find state-level disparities, with Kerala residents exhibiting the lowest CRP levels (1.96 mg/L compared to 3.28 mg/L in Rajasthan, the state with the highest CRP). We use the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition approach to explain group-level differences, and find that state-level gradients in CRP are mainly due to heterogeneity in the association of the observed characteristics of respondents with CRP, as opposed to differences in the distribution of endowments across the sampled state populations.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age, nep-edu and nep-hea
Date: 2015-01
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Working Paper: Education, Gender, and State-Level Gradients in the Health of Older Indians: Evidence from Biomarker Data (2016) Downloads
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