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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2018 Dec 28;16(1). pii: E69. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16010069.

Sex Differences in Quality of Life and Health Services Utilization among Elderly People in Rural Vietnam.

Author information

1
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. phamthang@hmu.edu.vn.
2
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. phamthang@hmu.edu.vn.
3
Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA. ttn5@duke.edu.
4
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT 06510, USA. sophie.to@yale.edu.
5
Department of Family Medicine, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. phamletuan@moh.gov.vn.
6
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. xuanthanh1901vlk@gmail.com.
7
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. xuanthanh1901vlk@gmail.com.
8
Dinh Tien Hoang Institute of Medicine, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. xuanthanh1901vlk@gmail.com.
9
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. nguyenthuhuong.hmu@gmail.com.
10
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. nguyenthuhuong.hmu@gmail.com.
11
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. ngoctamyhn@gmail.com.
12
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. ngoctamyhn@gmail.com.
13
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. nththu.bvlk@gmail.com.
14
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. nththu.bvlk@gmail.com.
15
Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, 69100 Villeurbanne, France. quang.n.nguyen@alumni.duke.edu.
16
Institute for Global Health Innovations, Duy Tan University, Da Nang 550000, Vietnam. quang.n.nguyen@alumni.duke.edu.
17
Institute for Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. bach.ipmph@gmail.com.
18
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. bach.ipmph@gmail.com.
19
Center of Excellence in Behavioral Medicine, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City 770000, Vietnam. longnh.ph@gmail.com.
20
Institute for Global Health Innovations, Duy Tan University, Da Nang 550000, Vietnam. giang.ighi@gmail.com.
21
Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. carl.latkin@jhu.edu.
22
Department of Psychological Medicine, National University Hospital, Singapore 119074, Singapore. cyrushosh@gmail.com.
23
Center of Excellence in Behavioral Medicine, Nguyen Tat Thanh University, Ho Chi Minh City 770000, Vietnam. hocmroger@yahoo.com.sg.
24
Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore 119228, Singapore. hocmroger@yahoo.com.sg.
25
Department of Family Medicine, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. trunganhvlk@gmail.com.
26
Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Hanoi Medical University, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. vuthanhhuyen11@hmu.edu.vn.
27
National Geriatric Hospital, Hanoi 100000, Vietnam. vuthanhhuyen11@hmu.edu.vn.

Abstract

In Vietnam, as in much of the world, the elderly population is growing rapidly. Two-thirds of Vietnam's elderly live in rural areas, where there may be unique health profiles and needs. Furthermore, the sex ratio in the elderly population is highly skewed. The relationship between sex, health-seeking behavior, and health outcomes in elderly individuals residing in rural areas has not been well-characterized, and needs to be elucidated in order to better serve this population. This study sought to explore the associations of sex with health and health-seeking behavior among the elderly in Soc Son, a rural district of Hanoi. A cross-sectional design was employed; elderly women and men were surveyed across the domains of socioeconomic information, health status, and healthcare service utilization. We found differences between women and men in sociodemographic characteristics, quality of life, health outcomes, and patterns of health services utilization. Overall, women had poorer health and quality of life, but no difference was found between sexes regarding level of health services utilization. Future research should expand upon these findings and, moreover, characterize their underlying systemic, sociocultural, and psychological mechanisms, in order to help bring solutions to improve the health of elderly persons in rural parts of Vietnam.

KEYWORDS:

Vietnam; aging; elderly; health services utilization; quality of life; rural; sex differences

PMID:
30597825
DOI:
10.3390/ijerph16010069
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