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Gender Differences in Health Expectancies across the Disablement Process among Older Thais

Lookup NU author(s): Benjawan Apinonkul, Kittikorn Soontaranurak, Emerita Professor Carol Jagger



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


ObjectivesTo estimate health expectancies based on measures that more fully cover the stages in the disablement process for the older Thais and examine gender differences in these health expectancies.Methods Health expectancies by genders using Sullivan's method were computed from the fourth Thai National Health Examination Survey conducted in 2009. A total of 9,210 participants aged 60 years and older were included in the analysis. Health measures included chronic diseases; cognitive impairment; depression; disability in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL); and disability in activities of daily living (ADL).ResultsThe average number of years lived with and without morbidity and disability as measured by multiple dimensions of health varied and gender differences were not consistent across measures. At age 60, males could expect to live the most years on average free of depression (18.6 years) and ADL disability (18.6 years) and the least years free of chronic diseases (9.1 years). Females, on the contrary, could expect to live the most years free of ADL disability (21.7 years) and the least years free of IADL disability (8.1 years), and they consistently spent more years with all forms of morbidity and disability. Finally, and for both genders, years lived with cognitive impairment, depression and ADL disability were almost constant with increasing age.ConclusionThis study adds knowledge of gender differences in healthy life expectancy in the older Thai population using a wider spectrum of health which provides useful information to diverse policy audiences.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Apinonkul B, Soonthorndhada K, Vapattanawong P, Aekplakorn W, Jagger C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2015

Volume: 10

Issue: 3

Online publication date: 23/03/2015

Acceptance date: 30/01/2015

Date deposited: 21/06/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0121310


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Funder referenceFunder name
PHD/0083/2553Thailand Research Fund through the Royal Golden Jubilee Ph.D. Program