Health trends and inequality

Using national registers and nationally representative studies, ARC researchers investigate whether older people are healthier now than in the past. In other words, we try to understand whether older people are living more years in good health or more years with disease and disability. We use various measures of health, including diagnosed diseases, symptoms and disabilities, the ability to carry out everyday activities, and tests of physical and mental function.

Opportunities in life are not equal for everyone, and these inequalities affect health and longevity. We explore how differences in gender, socioeconomic status, and living conditions during people’s entire lives can affect their health and longevity. We also study how the effects have changed over time. Finally, we look specifically at gender-related issues: why are older women less healthy than older men but still live longer?