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Individual income and falls among the elderly in Latin America

Authors

  • Antonio J Trujillo,

    1. Health Systems Program
    2. International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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  • Prasanthi Puvanachandra,

    Corresponding author
    1. Health Systems Program
    2. International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
      Dr Prasanthi Puvanachandra MD MPH, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Email: ppuvanac@jhsph.edu
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  • Adnan A Hyder

    1. Health Systems Program
    2. International Injury Research Unit, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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Dr Prasanthi Puvanachandra MD MPH, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. Email: ppuvanac@jhsph.edu

Abstract

Aim:  The burden of falls amongst the elderly raises important public health concerns. Empirical evidence suggests that macroeconomic growth may not be sufficient to reduce mortality and morbidity from injuries among the elderly. This paper consolidates macro- and microeconomic evidence of the effect of income on elderly falls in Latin America.

Method:  Using household databases, we estimate an empirical model to assess the relationship between income and falls.

Results:  The estimations indicate that an increase in personal income reduces the probability of falling; yet, the size of the effect is negligible. A 10% increase in income reduces the probability of falling between 0.001 and 0.002% while a 20% increase reduced the probability by up to 1%.

Conclusion:  These findings are consistent with macroeconomic data where morbidity and mortality among seniors are inelastic to economic growth. Policy implications of cash transfer programs targeting the elderly are discussed. Geriatr Gerontol Int 2011; 11: 180–190.

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