A pioneering study conducted in Spain analyzed the education, socioeconomic, age, and health status of the couple together for the first time, rather than separately. The results confirmed that poor life and health with older husbands can adversely affect women’s health.
health Women over 65 Due to traditional gender norms, it shows that in addition to its own socio-economic characteristics, it is also related to the socio-economic characteristics of its partners.This is one of the main conclusions of… survey By Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) And the Autonomous University of Barcelona (United Arab Emirates), focusing on the case of Spain.
according to Jordi Gumà, Member of the Socio-Demographic Research Group (DemosocUPF and the person in charge of work), this situation is exacerbated for many reasons. “in many circumstances, Their partner’s caregiver (Man) implying Women’s health The result of gender inequality: relying on your partner financially and having to bear a greater daily burden,” Gumar explained.
The research was published in Health Gazette, Analyzed the health differences between the 65-81-year-old Spanish population living with a partner, and considered the individual socio-economic characteristics of the two members and the combined socio-economic characteristics. So far, this is a groundbreaking research method that focuses on personal analysis.
The overall goal is to determine in addition to the individual’s own level of education (a common indicator of this type of research), the characteristics of the couple (education level and health status) and the characteristics of the general family (economic ability and health status). The income gap), the age of the spouse) will affect the health of people 65 years of age and over who live together.
Another member of this couple, a decisive factor
The study shows that the chance of living with a partner who is in poor health is almost twice as high as in the same situation, and if a woman is significantly better than a woman, education level It is higher than their partner, and for men, the result is not that important.
“The health status of the other member of this couple is a variable, indicating that the health of Spaniards aged 65 and over under this coexistence model has the greatest impact, although women’s health seems to be more sensitive to education. The author affirms your The level of the partner and the general economic situation of the family”.
In this sense, the study found obvious gender meanings: “Living with an older husband, poor physical condition will harm women’s health. On the contrary, when their women’s health is poor, their extra workload It is reduced because men tend to share this burden with other family members, mainly women, especially daughters or women.
On the other hand, the study shows that there is a selective mating effect (looks like your own couple), because two people with socioeconomic characteristics and often similar behaviors are more likely to overlap. Due to the influence of behavioral factors (such as smoking, diet, drinking, etc.), these selective mating young people may have a cumulative effect on health over the years.
Living with an elderly husband and being in poor health can damage women’s health. On the contrary, when wives are in poor health, their extra workload is reduced because they often share this burden with their daughters or wives.
Special case in Spain
The focus of the study is from about 1,800 people from 2015 European Income and Living Conditions Survey A couple of senior citizens (65 to 81 years old) living in. Using independent logistic regression models for women and men, the author obtained an estimate of the likelihood of feeling good and healthy, that is, how people perceive their overall health.
So far, research on the relationship between joint education profiles (couples and their own) and health status has mainly focused on the United States or Northern Europe, Western and Central European countries, but no country in the United States has been analyzed. Southern Continental Europe.
For the author, Spain is a particularly interesting case because the expansion of education and the influx of women in the labor market is later than in other Western European countries.
They emphasized that, therefore, “Spanish production and reproductive roles follow the very traditional gender patterns of the oldest population, so the socio-economic status of women depends to a large extent on the status of their partners”.
Direct health policy
Experts say that their research can make an important contribution to public policy, that is, “They should not only target typical disadvantaged groups, such as single parents or low-income families, but also low-income retirees. Education partners.”
They concluded: “The results are particularly important for health professionals who come into contact with patients every day because they demonstrate that there are more decisions about health inequality at the family level rather than at the individual level.”
Gumà, J., Spijker, J. (March 2021). “Are the characteristics of this couple important to understanding the health of the elderly? The Spanish case”. Health Gazette (Volume 35, Issue 2, Pages 193-198) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gaceta.2019.07.005