International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2019-01-01)

Relative Deprivation, Poverty, and Mortality in Japanese Older Adults: A Six-Year Follow-Up of the JAGES Cohort Survey

  • Masashige Saito,
  • Naoki Kondo,
  • Takashi Oshio,
  • Takahiro Tabuchi,
  • Katsunori Kondo

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 16, no. 2
p. 182


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Most studies have evaluated poverty in terms of income status, but this approach cannot capture the diverse and complex aspects of poverty. To develop commodity-based relative deprivation indicators and evaluate their associations with mortality, we conducted a 6-year follow-up of participants in the Japan Gerontological Evaluation Study (JAGES), a population-based cohort of Japanese adults aged 65 and older. We analyzed mortality for 7614 respondents from 2010 to 2016. Cox regression models with multiple imputation were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for mortality. Seven indicators were significantly associated with mortality: no refrigerator, no air conditioner, cut-off of essential services in the past year for economic reasons, and so on. Among participants, 12.0% met one item, and 3.3% met two items or more. The HRs after adjusting for relative poverty and some confounders were 1.71 (95%CI: 1.18–2.48) for relative deprivation, and 1.87 (95%CI: 1.14–3.09) for a combination of relative poverty and deprivation. Relative deprivation was attributable to around 27,000 premature deaths (2.3%) annually for the older Japanese. Measurement of relative deprivation among older adults might be worthwhile in public health as an important factor to address for healthy aging.