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Regional and Gender Differences in Years with and without Mobility Limitation in the Older Population of Thailand

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



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


Objectives: To examine gender and regional differences in health expectancies based on the measure of mobility. Methods: Health expectancies by gender and region were computed by Sullivan's method from the fourth Thai National Health Examination Survey (2009). A total of 9,210 older persons aged 60 years and older were included. Mobility limitation was defined as self-reporting of ability to perform only with assistances/aids at least one of: walking at least 400 metres; or going up or down a flight of 10 stairs. Severe limitation was defined as complete inability to do at least one of these two functions, even with assistances or aids. Results: At age 60, females compared to males, spent significantly fewer years without mobility limitation (male-female = 3.2 years) and more years with any limitation (female-male = 6.7 years) and with severe limitation (female-male = 3.2 years). For both genders, years lived with severe limitation were remarkably constant across age. Significant regional inequalities in years lived without and with limitation were evident, with a consistent pattern by gender in years free of mobility limitation (Central ranked the best and the North East ranked the worst). Finally, both males and females in the South had the longest life expectancy and the most years of life with severe mobility limitation. Conclusion: This study identifies inequalities in years without and with mobility limitations with important policy implication.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: PLoS ONE

Year: 2016

Volume: 11

Issue: 5

Online publication date: 03/05/2016

Acceptance date: 04/04/2016

Date deposited: 26/07/2016

ISSN (electronic): 1932-6203

Publisher: Public Library of Science


DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0153763


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