Social inequalities in Ageing (SIA); health, care and institutional reforms in the Nordic welfare model

To meet the challenge of population ageing and social inequalities in late life health, it is of utmost importance to map out the life course predictors of healthy ageing.

The Nordic populations are ageing. The older segments of the populations are increasing both in terms of absolute numbers and as proportions of the populations. While the dramatic increase in life expectancy experienced throughout the past 150 years are one of the most remarkable achievements of human history, the ageing population, nevertheless, comprise a serious challenge to the Nordic welfare model as we know it.

Old age is often accompanied by poor health and functional disabilities. Thus, a growing proportion of older people in the population is likely to put a strain on the health and social care systems. This development, in turn, begs the question on whether the Nordic countries can afford to maintain their universal provision of largely tax-funded, welfare programmes. Moreover, health and survival in old age is unequally distributed throughout the populations. Women tend to have poorer health than men but yet outlive them. Individuals with low education, low income, and manual workers are substantially more likely to have health problems in old age and tend to die at earlier ages than individuals with more education, higher incomes, and backgrounds as non-manual workers. Similarly, with some notable exceptions, immigrants tend to have more health problems than those born in the Nordic countries.

This research programme rests on two pillars, one concerning life course influences, trends and trajectories in health and functioning, and the other concerning welfare state changes and inequality impacts of recent social reforms. To meet the challenge of population ageing and social inequalities in late life health, it is of utmost importance to map out the life course predictors of healthy ageing. Other urgent research questions springs from the intersection between ageing populations and welfare institutions. That is, how do these institutions meet the needs of older adults, and does the increased focus on the individual and market inspired solutions lead to increasing or new social inequalities?

Our research group consists of researchers with a wide range of academic backgrounds, from all of the Nordic countries. We will analyse these questions using a range of high quality Nordic databases, including both survey data and data from administrative registries. The results from the research programme concern one of the most pressing issues in welfare research today and, thus, have the potential to inform and influence future social policy.

Vitenskapelige publiseringer

Data source: Crossref. The list should not be assumed to represent the complete published research output of the project.

Why is the gender gap in life expectancy decreasing? The impact of age- and cause-specific mortality in Sweden 1997–2014

Journal Article published 2018-04-13 in International Journal of Public Health volume 63 issue 6
Research funded by Forskningsrådet om Hälsa, Arbetsliv och Välfärd | NordForsk
Authors: Louise Sundberg, Neda Agahi, Johan Fritzell, Stefan Fors.

Social class and infirmity. The role of social class over the life-course

Journal Article published 2018-04-01 in SSM - Population Health volume 4
Research funded by NordForsk | Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare (Forte)
Authors: Carin Lennartsson, Harpa Sif Eyjólfsdóttir, Roger Keller Celeste, Johan Fritzell.

Social pathways to health: On the mediating role of the social network in the relation between socio-economic position and health

Journal Article published 2017-12-01 in SSM - Population Health volume 3
Research funded by Norges Forskningsråd | NordForsk | Helse- og Omsorgsdepartementet | Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs | Ministry of Labour | Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion | Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development | Statistics Norway
Authors: Marja Aartsen, Marijke Veenstra, Thomas Hansen.

Does use of long-term care differ between occupational classes among the oldest old? Vitality 90 + Study

Journal Article published 2017-10-28 in European Journal of Ageing volume 15 issue 2
Research funded by Academy of Finland | NordForsk | the Competitive Research Funding of the Pirkanmaa Hospital District
Authors: Linda Enroth, Mari Aaltonen, Jani Raitanen, Lily Nosraty, Marja Jylhä.

Is the level of education associated with transitions between care settings in older adults near the end of life? A nationwide, retrospective cohort study

Journal Article published 2017-09-27 in Palliative Medicine volume 32 issue 2
Research funded by NordForsk
Authors: Susanne Kelfve, Jonas Wastesson, Stefan Fors, Kristina Johnell, Lucas Morin.

Smoking and Physical Inactivity as Predictors of Mobility Impairment During Late Life: Exploring Differential Vulnerability Across Education Level in Sweden

Journal Article published 2016-07-22 in The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Research funded by National Institutes of Health | NordForsk
Authors: Neda Agahi, Stefan Fors, Johan Fritzell, Benjamin A. Shaw.

The Association of Levels of and Decline in Grip Strength in Old Age with Trajectories of Life Course Occupational Position

Journal Article published 2016-05-27 in PLOS ONE volume 11 issue 5
Research funded by NordForsk | European Research Council (BE)
Authors: Hannes Kröger, Johan Fritzell, Rasmus Hoffmann.
Fakta om prosjektet

Project number: 74637

Prosjektleder

Johan Fritzell

Varighet
2015-2019