Childhood Health and Differences in Late-Life Health Outcomes between England and the United States
In this paper the authors examine the link between retrospectively reported measures of childhood health and the prevalence of various major and minor diseases at older ages. Their analysis is based on comparable retrospective questionnaires placed in the Health and Retirement Study and the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing — nationally representative surveys of the age 50 plus population in America and England respectively. They show that the origins of poorer adult health among older Americans compared to the English trace right back into the childhood years — the American middle and old-age population report higher rates of specific childhood health conditions than their English counterparts. The transmission into poor health in mid life and older ages of these higher rates of childhood illnesses also appears to be higher in America compared to England. Both factors contribute to higher rates of adult illness in the United States compared to England although even in combination they do not explain the full extent of the country difference in late-life health outcomes.
- Copyright: RAND Corporation
- Availability: Web-Only
- Pages: 29
- Document Number: WR-860
- Year: 2011
- Series: Working Papers
This report is part of the RAND Corporation working paper series. RAND working papers are intended to share researchers' latest findings and to solicit informal peer review. They have been approved for circulation by RAND but may not have been formally edited or peer reviewed.
Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.