研究老年死亡率和健康狀況的變化時，發現兩性平均餘命的差距隨工業化程度的上升而增加，女性於老年人口群所佔的人數比例亦因年齡增長而遞增，特別是年齡越高的老老人，「老年女性化(feminization of later life)」的現象更普遍。「老年女性化」是老年女性較男性長壽所造成的結果，但長壽的生命是否擁有健康的生活卻是一個疑問，兩性老人死亡率與健康狀態的差別，可能是疾病發生率、罹病類型不同所造成。女性老人易於罹患慢性病不易痊癒的特性加上女性長壽的因素，可能累積造成女性老人多數處於殘障與多病的不健康狀態。
Mortality and Disease-morbidity Characteristics on Health Problems of Elderly's in Taiwan
Hsiang-Pyng Wang(Lecturer, Department of Hospital Administration, Hung Kuang Institute of Technology)
In the study regarding mortality and health status, it was found that the gender gap in terms of life expectancies pronounced as industrialization deepened in a society. It is one thing that women live longer than men, yet it is another whether women live healthier in their later lives. Explanations for the differences in mortality and health status between the elder men and women can be traced back to the incidences and patterns of the diseases falling on them: it is more likely for elder women to contract chronic illness; the elder women, though live longer, tend to exhibit lower health status, and may come down with disabilities or other unfavorable physical conditions.
This study is to investigate the factors that have contributed to the aforementioned differences. Based on surveys on the elder’s health status between 1986 and 1996, it was found that the morbidity rates for the elder women were higher than the elder men, yet the mortality rates were the opposite.
My study suggests some explanations: for both sexes who came down with cardiovascular diseases, women’s mortality rates were lower; yet, women are apt to contract skeleton-muscular diseases which led to disabilities. For those below age 80, mortality rates for women were lower, while the case was reversed for those older than age of 80. This study also found that, men more often contracted acute diseases that led to death quickly, while women tend to contract chronic illness, which did not lead to quick death.
These factors along with longer life expectancy, elder women demonstrated lower mortality rates and lower self-assessed health status.
health of the elderly; pattern of diseases; incidence; gender gap