Measuring and Decomposing Inequalities in Mental Disorders among Elderly in Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Evidence from WHO-SAGE, Wave 1

Balhasan Ali, Nasim Ahamed Mondal, Mohai Menul Biswas


The paper aims to quantify the extent of inequalities among the older population in India, China, Ghana, Russia and South Africa. Though studies show prevalence of mental disorder among these countries, little is known about relative contribution of explanatory factors for health-related inequality in mental disorders among elderly. Data from Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), WAVE-1 (2007-10), has been used for analysis. Finding portrays that though inequality prevails more in China, Indian older population suffers more from mental disorders compared with the other selected countries. Further, decomposition analysis reveals that age, urban residence, male sex and education (high school or more) show significantly more importance in order to explain relative contribution in inequality for mental disorders. In contrast, relative contribution of employment is very less. The lower value of unexplained CI shows that selected explanatory factors significantly explain the existing inequalities. In essence, results indicate that inequalities are artefacts of existing inequalities through place of residence, gender, education and economic factors, which need instant attention of policy makers to promote mental well-being through active and healthy ageing.

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