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Health disparity along the social class gradient of elderly in India

MOJ Public Health
Radhe Shyam Mishr,1 Harihar Sahoo,2 Bedanga Talukdar3

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Background: Present study attempts to quantify caste-based differentiation in health among elderly individuals in India and role played by social cast the gradient on elderly health. Social classes are detrimental to the health status of the elderly in any society, especially when society is diverse, multicultural, overpopulated, and undergoing rapid unequal economic growth. Data from the Study on global aging and adult health survey (SAGE) is used for the analysis.
Methods: Logistic regression, adjusted and unadjusted models are carried out to assess the health disparity among social groups with and without selected background characteristics. The outcome in logistic regression analysis is often coded as 0 and 1, where 1 indicates that the outcome of interest is present, and 0 indicates that the outcome of interest is absent. 
Results: Other backward caste experience the highest incidence of arthritis followed by other cast group and ST were found lowest, Hypertension is elevated in female and non-educated elderly. Diabetes is prevalent among higher age. Breathing was high in the SC caste, and it was positively related to increases in age while negatively associated with wealth. 
Conclusion: The result reveals the health status among the elderly in India differs from distinct caste groups. Lower Caste groups experience marginally higher diseases due to their association with manual jobs and lower occupational status. It also shows that health care services do not significantly differ by the caste groups in India. The socio-economic condition is the most critical predictor of influencing health inequality among caste groups in elderly people.


Health inequality, Social stratification, Elderly, Gender, India