Education Gradients in Older Adult Cardiovascular Health: A Comparison between Mexico and Costa Rica

Robert A. Hummer, University of Texas at Austin
Molly Dondero, University of Texas at Austin
Luis Rosero-Bixby, Universidad de Costa Rica
William H. Dow, University of California, Berkeley

We examine education gradients in older adult cardiovascular health in Mexico and Costa Rica. These countries are characterized by rapid population aging and increasing education, but have different historical and policy contexts. We use data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study and the Costa Rican Longevity and Healthy Aging Study. Cardiovascular health is similar in the two countries on some dimensions, and more favorable in Costa Rica on others. Education gradients in cardiovascular health are mixed for Costa Ricans, while there are few education differences in health among Mexicans. When data from the countries are combined, education gradients in health are most often not distinct from one another. Weak-to-nonexistent gradients in both contexts are of interest given such strong gradients in other countries. How education-health gradients may change as larger and more highly educated cohorts of Mexicans and Costa Ricans age into older adulthood is important for future research.

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Presented in Session 17: Social Disparities in Health and Mortality in Developing Countries