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Family transfers and long-term care: An analysis of the WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE)

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      Populations globally are ageing, resulting in increased need for long-term care. Where social welfare systems are insufficient, these costs may fall to other family members. We set out to estimate the association between long-term care needs and family transfers in selected low- and middle- income countries.


      We used data from the World Health Organization’s Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE). Using regression, we analysed the relationship between long-term care needs in older households and i) odds of receiving net positive transfers from family outside the household and ii) the amount of transfer received, controlling for relevant socio-demographic characteristics.


      The proportion of household members requiring long-term care was significantly associated with receiving net positive transfers in China (OR: 1.76; p = 0.023), Ghana (OR: 2.79; p = 0.073), Russia (OR: 3.50; p < 0.001). There was a statistically significant association with amount of transfer received only in Mexico (B: 541.62; p = 0.010).


      In selected LMICs, receiving family transfers is common among older households, and associated with requiring long-term care. Further research is needed to better understand drivers of observed associations and identify ways in which financial protection of older adults’ long-term care needs can be improved.

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      Epidemiology of multimorbidity and implications for health care, research, and medical education: a cross-sectional study.

      Long-term disorders are the main challenge facing health-care systems worldwide, but health systems are largely configured for individual diseases rather than multimorbidity. We examined the distribution of multimorbidity, and of comorbidity of physical and mental health disorders, in relation to age and socioeconomic deprivation. In a cross-sectional study we extracted data on 40 morbidities from a database of 1,751,841 people registered with 314 medical practices in Scotland as of March, 2007. We analysed the data according to the number of morbidities, disorder type (physical or mental), sex, age, and socioeconomic status. We defined multimorbidity as the presence of two or more disorders. 42·2% (95% CI 42·1-42·3) of all patients had one or more morbidities, and 23·2% (23·08-23·21) were multimorbid. Although the prevalence of multimorbidity increased substantially with age and was present in most people aged 65 years and older, the absolute number of people with multimorbidity was higher in those younger than 65 years (210,500 vs 194,996). Onset of multimorbidity occurred 10-15 years earlier in people living in the most deprived areas compared with the most affluent, with socioeconomic deprivation particularly associated with multimorbidity that included mental health disorders (prevalence of both physical and mental health disorder 11·0%, 95% CI 10·9-11·2% in most deprived area vs 5·9%, 5·8%-6·0% in least deprived). The presence of a mental health disorder increased as the number of physical morbidities increased (adjusted odds ratio 6·74, 95% CI 6·59-6·90 for five or more disorders vs 1·95, 1·93-1·98 for one disorder), and was much greater in more deprived than in less deprived people (2·28, 2·21-2·32 vs 1·08, 1·05-1·11). Our findings challenge the single-disease framework by which most health care, medical research, and medical education is configured. A complementary strategy is needed, supporting generalist clinicians to provide personalised, comprehensive continuity of care, especially in socioeconomically deprived areas. Scottish Government Chief Scientist Office. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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        Household catastrophic health expenditure: a multicountry analysis.

        Health policy makers have long been concerned with protecting people from the possibility that ill health will lead to catastrophic financial payments and subsequent impoverishment. Yet catastrophic expenditure is not rare. We investigated the extent of catastrophic health expenditure as a first step to developing appropriate policy responses. We used a cross-country analysis design. Data from household surveys in 59 countries were used to explore, by regression analysis, variables associated with catastrophic health expenditure. We defined expenditure as being catastrophic if a household's financial contributions to the health system exceed 40% of income remaining after subsistence needs have been met. The proportion of households facing catastrophic payments from out-of-pocket health expenses varied widely between countries. Catastrophic spending rates were highest in some countries in transition, and in certain Latin American countries. Three key preconditions for catastrophic payments were identified: the availability of health services requiring payment, low capacity to pay, and the lack of prepayment or health insurance. People, particularly in poor households, can be protected from catastrophic health expenditures by reducing a health system's reliance on out-of-pocket payments and providing more financial risk protection. Increase in the availability of health services is critical to improving health in poor countries, but this approach could raise the proportion of households facing catastrophic expenditure; risk protection policies would be especially important in this situation.
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          Prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in rural and urban communities in high-, middle-, and low-income countries.

          Hypertension is the most important preventable cause of morbidity and mortality globally, yet there are relatively few data collected using standardized methods. To examine hypertension prevalence, awareness, treatment, and control in participants at baseline in the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) study. A cross-sectional study of 153,996 adults (complete data for this analysis on 142,042) aged 35 to 70 years, recruited between January 2003 and December 2009. Participants were from 628 communities in 3 high-income countries (HIC), 10 upper-middle-income and low-middle-income countries (UMIC and LMIC), and 4 low-income countries (LIC). Hypertension was defined as individuals with self-reported treated hypertension or with an average of 2 blood pressure measurements of at least 140/90 mm Hg using an automated digital device. Awareness was based on self-reports, treatment was based on the regular use of blood pressure-lowering medications, and control was defined as individuals with blood pressure lower than 140/90 mm Hg. Among the 142,042 participants, 57,840 (40.8%; 95% CI, 40.5%-41.0%) had hypertension and 26,877 (46.5%; 95% CI, 46.1%-46.9%) were aware of the diagnosis. Of those who were aware of the diagnosis, the majority (23,510 [87.5%; 95% CI, 87.1%-87.9%] of those who were aware) were receiving pharmacological treatments, but only a minority of those receiving treatment were controlled (7634 [32.5%; 95% CI, 31.9%-33.1%]). Overall, 30.8%, 95% CI, 30.2%-31.4% of treated patients were taking 2 or more types of blood pressure-lowering medications. The percentages aware (49.0% [95% CI, 47.8%-50.3%] in HICs, 52.5% [95% CI, 51.8%-53.2%] in UMICs, 43.6% [95% CI, 42.9%-44.2%] in LMICs, and 40.8% [95% CI, 39.9%-41.8%] in LICs) and treated (46.7% [95% CI, 45.5%-47.9%] in HICs, 48.3%, [95% CI, 47.6%-49.1%] in UMICs, 36.9%, [95% CI, 36.3%-37.6%] in LMICs, and 31.7% [95% CI, 30.8%-32.6%] in LICs) were lower in LICs compared with all other countries for awareness (P <.001) and treatment (P <.001). Awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension were higher in urban communities compared with rural ones in LICs (urban vs rural, P <.001) and LMICs (urban vs rural, P <.001), but similar for other countries. Low education was associated with lower rates of awareness, treatment, and control in LICs, but not in other countries. Among a multinational study population, 46.5% of participants with hypertension were aware of the diagnosis, with blood pressure control among 32.5% of those being treated. These findings suggest substantial room for improvement in hypertension diagnosis and treatment.

            Author and article information

            [a ]London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
            [b ]World Health Organization, United States
            [c ]University of Newcastle, Australia
            [d ]University of Bologna, Italy
            [e ]European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, UK
            Author notes
            [* ]Corresponding author. adrianna.murphy@
            J Econ Ageing
            J Econ Ageing
            Journal of the Economics of Ageing
            Elsevier B.V
            1 November 2018
            November 2018
            : 12
            : 195-201
            © 2017 The Authors

            This is an open access article under the CC BY license (



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