This study investigates the trajectory of various dimensions of health status among the Chinese elderly in their late years. We used growth-curve analyses on a subsample (n≈2000) of the elderly from the Chinese Longitudinal Health Longevity Survey (CLHLS) who had longitudinal information from 1998 to 2005. Analyses controlled for a large set of individual and family characteristics. Our findings indicate that elderly who had relatively advantaged childhood socioeconomic status (SES) and who regularly engaged in physical and/or leisure activities had significantly healthier well-being than their respective counterparts on all dimensions considered. In addition, regularly participating in physical and/or leisure activities was associated with slow deterioration of health well-being among the Chinese elderly. The results indicate the potential benefits of engaging in physical and/or leisure activities, and consequently, the importance of implementing programs that promote such activities among elders in China.
Keywords: Aging; CLHLS; China; Elderly; Growth-curve analysis; Longitudinal study.
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