Healthy aging determinants and disability among older adults: SABE Colombia

Gómez et al.


To identify the main factors associated with disability in older adults in Colombia, adjusted according to structural and intermediary determinants of healthy aging.


This study used cross-sectional data from 23 694 adults over 60 years of age in the SABE Colombia nationwide survey. Structural determinants such as demographic and socioeconomic position variables were analyzed. Intermediary variables were classified into three blocks: intrinsic capacity, physical and built environment, and health care systems. Data analysis employed multivariate logistic regression.


The prevalence of overall disability was 21% for activities of daily living, 38% for instrumental activities of daily living, and 33% for mobility disability. Disability was associated with sociodemographic structural determinants such as older age, female sex, rural residence, never married/divorced, living alone, low educational level, and Indigenous/Black ethnicity. With regard to determinants of socioeconomic position, net low income, poor socioeconomic stratum, insufficient income perception, and a subsidized health insurance scheme exerted a major influence on disability. Intermediary determinants of intrinsic capacity, such as poor self-rated health, multimorbidity, low grip strength, sedentary lifestyle, early childhood economic adversity, no social support, and no participation in activities, were significantly associated with disability.


Actions that affect the main factors associated with disability, such as reducing health inequities through policies, strategies, and activities, can contribute significantly to the well-being and quality of life of Colombian older adults.

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