Gender-Differences in (Un)Healthy Ageing: The Crucial Role of Musculoskeletal Conditions Evidenced in the French CONSTANCES Cohort

Mira Rahal , CNRS
Pierre-Yves Geoffard, Paris School of Economics
Emmanuelle Cambois, Institut National d'Études Démographiques (INED)

Background: In France as elsewhere, women can expect to live longer than men, but experience more years with disabilities. In this study, we analyze how much of the gender differences relates to very frequent disabling conditions, the Musculoskeletal Conditions (MC). First, we estimate their contribution to disability in men and women. Second, we estimate the transition probabilities in and out of disability status for each sex, conditional on the presence of MC. Methods: Based on data from the French CONSTANCES cohort we select 55,297 individuals (aged 50-69 at inclusion) who participated to the cohort, recruited between 2012 and 2019, and followed-up. We measure disability with the Global Activity Limitation Indicator, and identify MC based on the reporting of diagnosed osteo-articular diseases and/or frequent body pains. With a cross sectional analysis (attribution method), we assess gender differences in the association between disability and MC, accounting for comorbidity. With longitudinal data, we fit multi-state Markov models to estimate transition probabilities between disability status. Results: In the study population, the prevalence of disability and MC is higher in women; MC are the major contributors to disability, especially in women. Reporting MC increases the chance of disability onset and staying ‘limited’, and decreases the chance of disability recovery and staying ‘unlimited’, among all. On gender differences, results show that MC reduce the chance of disability recovery and increase the risk of staying limited more among women.

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 Presented in Session 120. Flash session Gender Differences in Health, Wellbeing and Morbidity