Gender gap in health condition and quality of life at advanced age
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Institute of Statistics and Demography, Collegium of Economic Analysis, SGH Warsaw School of Economics, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Poland
National Institute of Geriatrics, Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Zielona Góra, Poland
Department of Women’s Health, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Iwona Bojar   

Department of Women’s Health, Institute of Rural Health, Jaczewskiego 2, 20-090, Lublin, Poland
Increased life expectancy, share of the very old in populations and differences in the prevalence or types of health problems between male and female seniors pose challenges for health and social care systems in providing adequate care.

The aim of the study is to compare the health condition and quality of life between women and men aged 90 or over, as well as to correlate the quality of life at advanced age with demographic and health conditions.

Material and methods:
The study was conducted in Poland in 2015–2018 on 870 women and 264 men aged 90 or over who were able to communicate logically and had no dementia diagnosed previously by a physician. The author’s questionnaire, Katz Index of Independence in Activities of Daily Living, Abbreviated Mental Test Score and WHO Quality of Life-Bref questionnaires were used.

The women aged 90 or over had a significantly higher prevalence of chronic pain (76% vs 60%), urinary incontinence (60% vs 44%), falls and syncopes (39% vs 25%), stool incontinence (17% vs 9%), more severe functional and cognitive impairment and lower quality of life than men at the same age. City residence, being widowed, chronic pain, geriatric giants and functional impairment were factors found to decrease all aspects of the life quality, while age in the studied interval decreased only physical health’ assessment. Lack of education only affected negatively psychological health while cognitive impairment decreased the assessment of physical and psychological health, as well as social relationships.

Men who reached the age of 90 or over assessed their health condition and quality of life better than women at the same age.

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