Ethnic inequalities in health in later life, 1993-2017: The persistence of health disadvantage over more than two decades

Sarah Stopforth*, Dharmi Kapadia, James Nazroo, Laia Bécares

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Ethnic inequalities in health and wellbeing across the early and mid-lifecourse have been well-documented in the United Kingdom. What is less known is the prevalence and persistence of ethnic inequalities in health in later life. There is a large empirical gap focusing on older ethnic minority people in ethnicity and ageing research. In this paper, we take a novel approach to address data limitations by harmonising six nationally representative social survey datasets that span more than two decades. We investigate ethnic inequalities in health in later life, and we examine the effects of socio-economic position and racial discrimination in explaining health inequalities. The central finding is the persistence of stark and significant ethnic inequalities in limiting long-term illness and self-rated health between 1993 and 2017. These inequalities tend to be greater in older ages, and are partially explained by contemporaneous measures of socio-economic position, racism, and discrimination. Future data collection endeavours must better represent older ethnic minority populations and enable more detailed analyses of the accumulation of socio-economic disadvantage and exposure to racism over the lifecourse, and its effects on poorer health outcomes in later life.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAgeing and Society
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • ethnicity
  • health inequalities
  • later life
  • racism and discrimination
  • socio-economic disadvantage

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