Lifetime Socioeconomic Status and Late-life Health Trajectories: Longitudinal Results from the Mexican Health and Aging Study

Jacqueline M. Torres, Shemra Rizzo, Rebeca Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Objective: This article examines the association between childhood and adult socioeconomic status (SES) and late-life health trajectories for older adults in Mexico. Method: Data are from the Mexican Health and Aging Study, a panel survey that began with a nationally representative sample of Mexican adults 50 years and older at baseline (2001), with follow-up in 2003 and 2012. We use a hierarchical repeated measures model to estimate the relationship between SES and depressive symptoms, functional limitations, and self-rated health, respectively. We tested both discrete measures of SES in childhood and adulthood, as well as a combined indicator of lifetime SES. Results: Childhood SES was significantly associated with later-life health trajectories net of adulthood SES indicators. Adult SES was significantly associated with late-life health trajectories, with some differences by gender and outcome. There were significant SES disparities in health outcomes over the 11-year study period. However, there were no significant multiplicative interactions between SES and age, which would have indicated either diminishing or widening SES health disparities with age. Discussion: Socioeconomic disparities in health appear to persist into old age in the Mexican context. Efforts to reduce late-life health disparities in Mexico should target socioeconomic and material conditions across the life course.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-360
Number of pages12
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 2018


  • Aging
  • Cumulative disadvantage
  • Health trajectories
  • MHAS
  • Mental health
  • Mexico
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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