Distribution dynamics, regional differences, and convergence of elderly health levels in China

Xiaodong Cui, Ching Ter Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Despite efforts to improve national health levels, inequalities in health have endured in China. Most prior studies have been conducted from the perspective of influencing factors with respect to regional differences or focus on comparative analyses of health development levels. This paper reviews regional characteristics to examine dynamic changes in health levels within regions, measures and distinguishes inter-regional differences, and explores the evolution of these differences. Results show that elderly health levels in the overall system are polarized to varying degrees, but within regions, agglomeration continues. There were decreasing fluctuations in overall differences during the sample period: Regional differences influenced fluctuations the most, and inner-regional differences the least. In the short term, inequalities in health will continue to exist, but the gap has been closing in the long-term in China. The health development of neighborhoods has a significant driving effect in narrowing the differences in the eastern and northeast regions, while economic and health security levels in the central and western regions should be strengthened. These findings can help decision-makers to create appropriate health policies that are more targeted to actual needs, and provide policy implications for promoting the development of better life quality in China by considering regional differences.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2288
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 01 03 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors.

Keywords

  • Elderly health levels
  • Health policy
  • Regional difference

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