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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health



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HOME > J Prev Med Public Health > Volume 40(5); 2007 > Article
English Abstract Socioeconomic Inequalities in Preventive Services among the Elderly: Results from Medical Checkup, Cancer Check, and BP Check.
Heeran Chun, Il Ho Kim
Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2007;40(5):404-410
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1Institute of Population and Aging Research, Korea.
2Gwang-Jin-Gu Public Health Center, Korea.

Due to the assumptions of homogeneity as well as challenges in the socioeconomic position of the elderly, they have been relatively neglected in studies of health inequalities. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the social inequalities in preventive services among elderly men and women. METHODS: Data were obtained from a nationally representative sample of 342 men and 525 women aged 65 and over collected during the 2001 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Age adjusted proportions and logistic regression were used to identify the social patterning of preventive services among elderly Koreans using various social position indicators. RESULTS: The findings of this study generally supported the presence of social gradients in preventive services among the Korean elderly. The likelihood of using the service becomes progressively higher with social position. Educational level, income, and self-rated living status were significantly associated with increased medical checkups and cancer checks. In addition, logistic regression detected educational inequalities only among older women receiving BP checks. After being stratified based on health status and chronic disease status, social disparities still existed when educational level and self-rated living status were considered. Among unhealthy individuals, place of residence was observed as a barrier to medical checkups. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrated strong and consistent associations between socioeconomic position and preventive services among the elderly in Korea. The results indicate that public health strategies should be developed to reduce the barriers to preventive services encountered by the elderly.

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