Original Research

A comparative analysis of the health status of men aged 60–72 years and men aged 73+ years in Jamaica: Are there differences across municipalities?

Paul A. Bourne
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 2, No 1 | a139 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v2i1.139 | © 2010 Paul A. Bourne | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 November 2009 | Published: 10 September 2010

About the author(s)

Paul A. Bourne, Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies, Jamaica, Jamaica


Background: Since 1990, the number of older men (60+ years) in Jamaica has increased to in excess of 100 000, while there are 30 000 men aged 73+ years. This is despite the fact that men have higher mortality and morbidity rates than women and seek medical treatment less frequently than women.There exists, however, a dearth in literature regarding this phenomenon and, therefore, this study has endeavoured to reduce this gap.

Objectives: The aims of this study were to, (1) model the health status of men aged 60–72 years in Jamaica, (2) model the health status of men aged 73+ years in Jamaica and (3) examine the disparity in health status of the two groups in order to ascertain the factors that influence the good health status of elderly men.

Method: A sample of 1432 men aged 60+ years were extracted from a survey of 25 018 Jamaicans.Secondly, a sub-sample of 633 men aged 73+ years was extracted from the 1432 men aged over 60.The data from which those samples were extracted is called the Jamaica survey of living conditions(JSLC). The JSLC began in 1988 from a model of the World Bank’s Living conditions survey and is a nationally cross-sectional probability sample. The current study used descriptive statistics to provide background information on the sociodemographic characteristics of the sample and logistic regressions were utilised to examine the factors that predict good health of men aged 60–72 years and men aged 73+ years in Jamaica.

Results: The average age of the sample of men aged 60+ years was 71.14 years (SD = 5.64 years)and 78.5 years for the sample of men aged 73+ years (SD = 7.97 years). Approximately 63% of men aged 60–72 years indicated that their health was good compared to 53.3% for men aged 73+ years.Rural men recorded the least health status across the age cohorts. With regard to predictors of good health, the same factors were found to determine approximately 27% of the variability in good health. Ownership of health insurance was found to be the most influential predictor of good health and positive affective psychological condition the least significant predictor of good health for men aged 73+ years and second to last of five factors for older men.

Conclusion: The highest self-reported good health was indicated by men aged 60–72 years and men aged 73+ years who dwelled in towns other than Kingston, the capital. The least good health was experienced by rural men. For older men, health insurance coverage does not indicate preventative health, but preparation for curative ill-health.


health status; Jamaica; men aged 60+ years; men aged 73+ years; older men


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