Socioeconomic status and health-related quality of life among elderly people: results from the Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health

Soc Sci Med. 2008 Feb;66(4):803-10. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.11.011. Epub 2007 Dec 21.


The objective of this study was to assess the independent effect of income on health-related quality of life (HRQL) among older adults in Canada and the United States. Data were obtained from the 2002-2003 Joint Canada/United States Survey of Health. The sample consisted of 755 Canadians and 1,151 Americans aged 65 years or older. HRQL was measured with the multidimensional Health Utilities Index Mark 3 (HUI3). The results indicated that in the elderly population, HRQL was significantly associated with household income in the United States but not in Canada, controlling for sociodemographic and health indicators. Various explanations for the positive linear relationship between HRQL and income in the elderly population are discussed, including the roles of access to health care and socioeconomic inequalities in the United States and Canada.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Canada
  • Female
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Income / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Quality of Life*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States