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Dongjin Kim 1 Article
Neighborhood Deprivation and Unmet Health Care Needs: A Multilevel Analysis of Older Individuals in South Korea
Seung Eun Lee, Miyeon Yeon, Chul-Woung Kim, Tae-Ho Yoon, Dongjin Kim, Jihee Choi
Osong Public Health Res Perspect. 2019;10(5):295-306.   Published online October 31, 2019
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AbstractAbstract PDF

In this study the relationship between neighborhood deprivation and the unmet health care needs of elderly individuals (≥ 65 years) was examined. Some previous studies suggested that neighborhood characteristics affect access to health care, yet research on the unmet needs of older individuals is limited.


Multilevel logistic regression analysis was used to assess the relationship of neighborhood-level factors with unmet health care needs due to costs, adjusting for individual-level factors, in individuals ≥ 65 years in the 2017 Korean Community Health Survey (n = 63,388).


There were 2.6% of elderly individuals who experienced unmet health care needs due to costs. Following adjustment for individual and neighborhood characteristics, the neighborhood deprivation in urban areas was found to have an inverse association with unmet needs (odds ratio = 0.50; 95% confidence interval = 0.24–1.06) for the most deprived quartile versus the least deprived quartile). However, in rural areas neighborhood deprivation was not a significant variable. Among the individual-level variables, household income was one of the strongest correlates with unmet needs in both urban and rural areas.


The present findings suggest that targeted policy interventions reflecting both neighborhood and individual characteristics, should be implemented to reduce the unmet health care needs of elderly individuals.


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