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

    24 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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