Gender and use of health care among older adults in Egypt and Tunisia


In Western industrialized countries, women report using health services more often than do men. We explore the applicability of existing theory to explain gender differences in use of health care among older adults in Egypt and Tunisia, where females have received less health care than males in early life. Findings show that women report visiting providers and using medications more often than do men; however, adjusted odds of visiting doctors are comparable for women and men in Tunisia and lower for women than men in Egypt. Odds of using health care are higher for women than men among those reporting no morbidity or functional impairment, but these relative odds diminish or reverse among those reporting multiple morbidities or severe impairments. The contributions of subjective and objective illness, quality of social support, and availability of services on gender differences in care in later life should be assessed in these and other settings where girls’ excess mortality persists.

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Social Science and Medicine



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