Health and aging in a Chinese population: urban and rural disparities

Geriatr Gerontol Int. 2010 Jan;10(1):85-93. doi: 10.1111/j.1447-0594.2009.00563.x.


Aim: The objective of this study was to compare the rural and urban differences in sociodemographic, health and psychosocial factors in a Chinese aging population.

Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study of 135 rural and 269 urban subjects aged 60 years or greater was performed in a community-dwelling Chinese population. Variables collected included sociodemographic, health-related and psychosocial measures.

Results: Rural subjects, compared with urban subjects, were significantly younger, more likely to be women, have lower education and income, and more likely to be widowed. Rural subjects also reported significant lower overall health status, lower quality of life and worse change in recent health. In addition, rural subjects had a significantly higher proportion of depressive symptomatology, feelings of loneliness and lower levels of social support measures.

Conclusion: In this older Chinese population, rural subjects had significantly poorer characteristics of health and well-being. These differences in characteristics were found across sociodemographic, health-related quality of life and psychosocial measures.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging*
  • China / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Quality of Life
  • Rural Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Social Class
  • Urban Health / statistics & numerical data*