Effect of Early Conditions on Disability among Elderly in Latin America and the Caribbean

Monteverde, Malena, Kenya Noronha, and Alberto Palloni
Working paper no. 2007-11


Poor early conditions have been associated with increasing risks of some non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease during adulthood. On the other hand, these morbidity conditions are known as important risk factors for experiencing disabilities. This suggests that there must be at least indirect connections between early conditions and the risk of being disabled at older ages. The aim of the present study is to assess differentials in the risk of being disabled according to early conditions experienced by elderly populations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and to identify the underlying mechanisms related to non-communicable diseases. We find that poor early conditions have a strong effect on disability later in life. A significant proportion of these effects are attributable to higher probabilities of suffering chronic conditions, especially vascular diseases and vascular diseases associated with diabetes.