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Inequalities in socio-economic characteristics and health and wellbeing of men with and without disabilities: a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline wave of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health.

Inequalities in socio-economic characteristics and health and wellbeing of men with and without disabilities: a cross-sectional analysis of the baseline wave of the Australian Longitudinal Study on Male Health.

BACKGROUND:

Internationally, men with disabilities have higher rates of social and economic disadvantage and poorer health and wellbeing than men without disabilities. No single study has provided comprehensive, population-level information about the magnitude of such differences among adult men using a well-validated instrument to measure disability.

METHODS:

We analysed baseline data from Ten to Men - an Australian longitudinal study of male health. Ten to Men used a stratified multi-stage cluster random sample design to recruit a national sample of males aged 10 to 55 years residing in private dwellings. Data were collected between October 2013 and July 2014 from 15,988 males. This analysis was restricted to 18-55 year old participants with data available on age and disability (n = 13,569). We compared the demographic, socio-economic characteristics and health and wellbeing of men with and without disabilities using chi squared tests for proportions and t tests for continuous variables. Linear regression adjusted for age was used to assess the association between disability status and health and wellbeing, which were measured using the SF-12 mental and physical health component scores and the Personal Wellbeing Index.

RESULTS:

Men with disabilities were older and more likely to be born in Australia, speak English at home, be Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and were less likely to be married or de facto, or to live in urban areas. They were less likely to have completed secondary school, be employed and live in affordable housing, and were more likely to live on low incomes, in more socio-economically disadvantaged areas, and in rental accommodation and to experience shortages of money. Among employed men, those with disabilities were less likely to be in high skilled jobs, worked less hours on average, and were more likely to report that they would prefer to work more. Men with disabilities had lower levels of social support and community participation and poorer mental and physical health and overall wellbeing.

CONCLUSION:

Adult men with disabilities experience marked social and economic disadvantage and poorer health and wellbeing. Improving the health and wellbeing of disabled men should be a priority for public health researchers and policy-makers.

Read more https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28185560?dopt=Abstract

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