Body mass, physical activity and future care use

presenter(s) Olena Nizalova | University of Kent


Previous literature shows that Body Mass Index (obesity status) is a strong predictor of the disability and functional limitations. Relying on the data from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing over the period from 2002 to 2011, we find that obesity status is also a significant risk factor in determining future informal care but not formal care use, even after controlling for ADLs and IADLs and for specific existing health conditions, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and CVD. Obese elderly are about 41% more likely to use informal care and privately paid care, but not formal care, in two-year’s time. Sensitivity analysis on a restricted sample shows that this result is not driven by prediabetes. The effect seems to be explained by the development of new ADLs/IADLs and functional limitations among obese. We also find that physical activity is associated with a significantly lower likelihood of using any mode of care in the future, with the strongest effect for formal care use, and among males.

date 7 September 2016

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