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Objectives. To explore social inequalities in grip strength, SF-36 physical functioning (PF), and falls among older people. Methods. We analyzed data from 3,225 men and women (age 59-73 years) who participated in the Hertfordshire Cohort Study, United Kingdom. Car availability and home ownership were used as markers of material deprivation. Results. A total of 6.4% of men (17.7% women) had no car and 19.3% of men (23.1% women) did not own their home. Having fewer cars was associated with lower grip and poorer PF among men and women (p < .001), and increased falls among men (p < .001). Not owning one's home was associated with lower grip in men and women (p < .001) and poorer PF in men (p < .001). Lower social class was associated with falls among women only (p = .01). Discussion. There are social inequalities in grip strength, PF, and falls among older people. Interventions should consider the contribution of social inequalities to the problem.

Original publication

DOI

10.1177/0898264309340793

Type

Journal article

Journal

Journal of aging and health

Publication Date

09/2009

Volume

21

Pages

913 - 939

Addresses

Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton, Southhampton General Hospital, Southhampton SO16 6YD, UK. hes@mrc.soton.ac.uk

Keywords

Humans, Disability Evaluation, Hand Strength, Geriatric Assessment, Cohort Studies, Motor Activity, Accidental Falls, Health Status, Residence Characteristics, Socioeconomic Factors, Aged, Middle Aged, Female, Male, Muscle Strength, Muscle Strength Dynamometer, Health Status Disparities, Surveys and Questionnaires, United Kingdom