Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

When feeling poor makes you sick: Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health

Date:
February 20, 2014
Source:
Social Science Research Center / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung
Summary:
Being objectively low income leads to poor health and a shorter life. This much we already knew. But poverty can also be a matter of subjectively feeling poor. Researchers have substantiated how the subjective assessment of being poor affects the health of the 50+ age group. A study of European countries shows that older people who assess themselves as poor get sick more often (38 per cent) and suffer more from health setbacks (48 per cent) than those who do not. The probability of dying earlier is also much higher – around 40 per cent for men in this age group.

Being objectively low income leads to poor health and a shorter life. This much we already knew. But poverty can also be a matter of subjectively feeling poor. WZB economist Maja Adena and her colleague Michal Myck (DIW Berlin and the Center for Economic Analysis, CenEA, Szczecin) have substantiated how the subjective assessment of being poor affects the health of the 50+ age group.

A study of Germany and 11 other European countries shows that older people who assess themselves as poor get sick more often (38 per cent) and suffer more from health setbacks (48 per cent) than those who do not. The probability of dying earlier is also much higher -- around 40 per cent for men in this age group.

The researchers differentiated between three types of poverty: income poverty, wealth poverty and subjective poverty. In addition to feeling poor, wealth poverty also causes one's health to deteriorate. Someone over 50 who possesses little wealth gets sick significantly more often and recovers from an illness more slowly than someone who is better off. Income, on the contrary, doesn't make any difference regarding the health of subjects in this age group.

The study reveals that poverty manifests itself in different ways. The researchers found little overlap between the various forms of poverty: only eight per cent of the respondents were poor according to all three definitions (income, wealth and self-assessment). The authors therefore recommend against relying on relative income alone to measure poverty. Broader definitions of poverty are needed to accurately describe old age poverty and its consequences.

The researchers used a representative survey of the 50+ population in Europe, the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). They analyzed data from a repeat survey (panel), conducted between 2006 and 2012. Health was linked to four factors: the subjective self-assessed health status, symptoms of poor health, limitations in performing activities of daily living, and mortality.

The study is published as a WZB Discussion Paper: http://bibliothek.wzb.eu/pdf/2013/ii13-307.pdf


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Social Science Research Center / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Social Science Research Center / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung. "When feeling poor makes you sick: Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 February 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220083253.htm>.
Social Science Research Center / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung. (2014, February 20). When feeling poor makes you sick: Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220083253.htm
Social Science Research Center / Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung. "When feeling poor makes you sick: Subjective poverty massively affects older people's health." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140220083253.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

Thailand Totters Towards Waste Crisis

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Fears are mounting in Bangkok that poor planning and lax law enforcement are tipping Thailand towards a waste crisis. Duration: 01:21 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

As Drought Continues LA "water Police" Fight Waste

AFP (Aug. 29, 2014) In the midst of a historic drought, Los Angeles is increasing efforts to go after people who waste water. Five water conservation "cops" drive around the city every day educating homeowners about the drought. Duration: 02:17 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins