Gender differences in physical disability among older adults in underprivileged communities in Lebanon

Adina Zeki Al Hazzouri, Abla Mehio Sibai, Monique Chaaya, Ziyad Mahfoud, Kathryn M. Yount

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the role of health conditions, socioeconomic, and socioenvironmental factors in explaining gender differences in physical disability among older adults. Method: We compared 412 women and 328 men residing in underprivileged communities in Lebanon on their activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), and physical tasks (PT). Binary logistic regression analyses adjusting for possible explanatory covariates were conducted sequentially. Results: Women showed higher prevalence rates of ADL, IADL, and PT compared to men. Gender disparities in ADL disability were explained by chronic-disease risk factors and health conditions (OR = 1.46; 95% CI = 0.94-2.25). The odds of disability in IADL and PT remained significantly higher for women compared to men after accounting for all available covariates. Discussion: These results suggest underlying differences in functional status between women and men, yet, may have been influenced by the sensitivity of the measures to the social context and gendered environment surrounding daily activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-382
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Aging and Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Activities of daily living (ADL)
  • Gender differences
  • Lebanon
  • Older adults
  • Physical disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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