Gender Differences in Health-related Quality of Life among the Elderly in Taiwan

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Purpose: This study examines the gender disparity in the elderly's health-related quality of life in Taiwan. Method: Data came from the National Health Interview Survey, a series of nation-representative face-to-face interviews held in Taiwan in 2001. The samples were chosen from those aged 65 or over, including populations drawn from the Taiwan area (with a number n=1845), remote mountain areas (n=169), and offshore islands (n=179). Health-related quality of life (HQOL) was measured by SF-36, including the dimensions of physical functioning, role limitation due to physical problems, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, role limitation due to emotional problems, and mental health. Two-stage linear regression models were used for analysis. Results: Elderly women showed lower HQOL in almost every dimension in the Taiwan area and offshore islands. After controlling for age, education, marital status, activities of daily living, and numbers of chronic diseases, women elderly showed a lower score in HQOL than men, and the difference was the most prominent in bodily pain which had a 23.6% lower score. The elderly in offshore islands and mountain areas had a lower HQOL than that in the Taiwan area. Other effects were greater than gender for the elderly in remote mountain areas. Discussion: Gender difference appeared across different dimensions of health-related quality of life. More effort to improve equal gender opportunities for health-related quality of life is necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-376
JournalAsian Journal of Health and Information Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2007


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