Gender differences in life expectancy with and without disability among older adults in Ecuador

Pilar Egüez-Guevara, Flávia Cristina Drumond Andrade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Knowledge on disability's impact among older women and men in Ecuador is limited. This paper provides gender-specific estimates of disability prevalence, life expectancy with and without disability, and the factors associated with gender differences in disability at older age in Ecuador (2009-2010). Methods: Data from the Health, Well-Being, and Aging Survey (SABE) Ecuador 2009 was used. Participants were 4480 men and women aged 60 and over. Life expectancy with and without disability was calculated using the Sullivan method. Logistic regression analyses were used to explore gender differences in disability prevalence. Two disability measures, indicating limitations in activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), were used. Results: 60-year-old women in Ecuador can expect to live 16.3 years without ADL limitations compared to 16.9 years for men. Life expectancy without IADL limitations was 12.5 years for women and 15.5 years for men. At age 60, women's length of life with ADL and IADL disability was higher (7.9 years for women vs. 4.9 years for men with ADL, and 11.7 years for women vs. 6.3 years for men with IADL). After controlling for socioeconomic characteristics, chronic conditions and lifestyle factors, gender differences in ADL disability were not statistically significant. However, older women were 58% more likely (OR. = 1.58, 95% CI 1.27, 1.95) to report having IADL limitations than men, even after including control variables. Conclusion: Interventions should tackle chronic disease, physical inactivity, and socioeconomic differences to reduce women's vulnerability to disability in older age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-479
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2015


  • Disability
  • Ecuador
  • Gender
  • Life expectancy
  • Older adults
  • SABE study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Aging
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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