Journal of Population Ageing

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 69–93 | Cite as

How Does Self-Rated Health Differ among Older Vietnamese Men and Women?

  • Dung Duc Le
  • Nekehia T. Quashie
  • Vipan PrachuabmohEmail author


Due to gender differences in life expectancy, women outlive their male counterparts but experience more years of poor health. Whereas the correlates of gender differences in later life health have been examined in Western countries there is a limited but growing body of research among older adults in developing countries. Utilizing data from the 2011 Vietnam National Aging Study, this study examines gender differentials in self-rated health among Vietnamese aged 60 years and over (N = 2467) within the differential exposure and differential vulnerability frameworks. Logistic regression analyses show women had higher odds of reporting poor health but this differential was significantly reduced after adjusting for socio-demographic factors. Differential exposure to socio-economic resources did not explain the gender gap in perceived health status. After controlling for health behaviors, physical and mental health conditions, the gender differential was reversed with women showing lower odds of reporting poor health than similar men. Gender specific associations were evidenced by social participation, educational attainment, and employment status, which were protective for women’s health but unrelated to men’s. Older Vietnamese men and women show many similarities in the correlates of self-rated health. Comorbidity of chronic conditions, functional limitations, symptoms of psychological distress, and living in the Central region of Viet Nam were positively associated with poor self-rated health for men and women. The findings provide insight for gender sensitive social policies and investments in health systems to address the changing health profile of the Vietnamese population.


Aging Viet Nam Health Gender Differential exposure Differential vulnerability 



We are thankful to Institute of Social and Medical Studies (ISMS) for providing such an informative dataset to conduct this study.


This research is supported by the 90th Anniversary of Chulalongkorn University under Rachadapisek Somphot Fund. This research was additionally supported by the Rachadapisek Sompote Fund for Postdoctoral Fellowship, Chulalongkorn University.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Dung Duc Le
    • 1
  • Nekehia T. Quashie
    • 2
  • Vipan Prachuabmoh
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Institute of Social and Medical Studies (ISMS), College of Population Studies (CPS)Chulalongkorn UniversityHanoiVietnam
  2. 2.College of Population Studies (CPS)Chulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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