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Glob Public Health. 2012;7(5):495-508. doi: 10.1080/17441692.2011.630676. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Gender differences in mobility disability during young, middle and older age in West African adults.

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  • 1University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.


The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence and the contribution of socio-demographic factors and chronic diseases to mobility disability in West African countries. Data were obtained from the World Health Survey (2002-2003) in which adultsā‰„18 years participated, from Burkina Faso (n=4822), Mali (n=4230) and Senegal (n=3197). Participants reporting mild, moderate, severe, extreme difficulty or inability to move around were defined as having mobility disability. All estimates were corrected for sampling design. Association measures were estimated using logistic regression methods. Mobility disability was frequent at young ages (35-44 years old) in men and women, respectively: 17% and 23% in Burkina Faso, 12% and 23% in Mali and 22% and 34% in Senegal. Women had higher odds of mobility difficulty than men at every age group in the three countries: 1.34 (95%CI 1.06; 1.70) in Burkina Faso; 2.33 (95% CI 1.84; 2.71) in Mali and 1.82 (95%CI 1.41; 2.36) in Senegal. Controlling for socio-economic factors and chronic disease, these odds changed respectively to 0.94 (95%CI 0.70; 1.25), 2.19 (95%CI 1.61; 2.96) and 1.90 (95%CI 1.27; 2.84). These results constitute a benchmark for the study of trends of mobility disability in West Africa and could be used by policy planners.

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