Functional Disability Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults in China: The Intersecting Roles of Ethnicity, Social Class, and Urban/Rural Residency

Int J Aging Hum Dev. 2022 Apr 14:914150221092129. doi: 10.1177/00914150221092129. Online ahead of print.


This study explores how ethnicity, family income, and education level differentiate patterns of functional limitations among urban and rural Chinese (aged 45 ≥ years). Based on the 2018 China Family Panel Studies (CFPS) (n = 16,589), this nationwide study employed binary/multinomial logistic regression analyses, stratified by urban/rural residency, to estimate the likelihood of instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) disability (0/1-2/≥3 limitations) by social determinants of health (SDoH). The estimated overall prevalence of IADLs disability was 14.3%. The multivariable analyses did not find significant ethnic disparity in IADLs disability in urban China, while in rural China, ethnic minorities were 44% more likely to have IADLs disability than Han Chinese. Among rural residents, Mongolians, Tibetans, and Yi minority more than tripled the odds of having ≥3 limitations than Han Chinese; and the intersections of ethnicity and social class were associated with functional limitations. Long-term care and anti-poverty programs should target minority aging populations in rural China.

PMID:35422130 | DOI:10.1177/00914150221092129