Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 6, Issue 1–2, pp 85–97 | Cite as

Changes in Older Europeans’ Health Across Two Waves of SHARE: Life-Course and Societal Determinants

  • Karsten Hank
  • Christian Deindl
  • Martina Brandt


Building on recent research investigating the role of life-course factors (including childhood conditions) and societal context in older Europeans health status, this study investigates the determinants of changes in elders’ health across two waves of the Survey of Health Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). Controlling for individuals’ current living conditions at baseline, our analysis provides evidence for long-term associations between childhood conditions (SES, health, cognition) and health dynamics in older age. Moreover, our findings suggest that income inequality tends to increase elders’ risk of experiencing negative health changes (decreases their chance to recover from poor health, respectively). Our study underlines the importance of accounting for both life-course and societal determinants of later life health dynamics.


Ageing Health dynamics Childhood conditions Social inequality SHARELIFE 



This paper uses data from SHARELIFE release 1, as of November 24th 2010 and from SHARE release 2.5.0, as of May 24th 2011. The SHARE data collection has been primarily funded by the European Commission through the 5th framework program (project QLK6-CT-2001-00360 in the thematic program Quality of Life), through the 6th framework program (projects SHARE-I3, RII-CT-2006-062193, COMPARE, CIT5-CT-2005-028857, and SHARELIFE, CIT4-CT-2006-028812) and through the 7th framework program (SHARE-PREP, 211909 and SHARE-LEAP, 227822). Additional funding from the U.S. National Institute on Aging (U01 AG09740-13S2, P01 AG005842, P01 AG08291, P30 AG12815, Y1-AG-4553-01 and OGHA 04-064, IAG BSR06-11, R21 AG025169) as well as from various national sources is gratefully acknowledged (see for a full list of funding institutions).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karsten Hank
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Christian Deindl
    • 1
  • Martina Brandt
    • 3
  1. 1.University of CologneCologneGermany
  2. 2.DIW BerlinBerlinGermany
  3. 3.Max-Planck-Institute for Social Law and Social PolicyMunichGermany
  4. 4.FIS – University of CologneCologneGermany

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