Mobility Limitation in Older Thais: Gender and Geographical Differences in Health Expectancies

Kusol Soonthorndhada, Mahidol University
Benjawan Apinonkul, Mahidol University
Patama Vapattanawong, Mahidol University
Wichai Aekplakorn, Mahidol University
Carol Jagger, Newcastle University

Abstract Objectives: This study examined gender and regional differences in health expectancies based on measures of mobility limitation in the older Thai. Methods: Health expectancies were computed using Sullivan’s method using the fourth Thai National Health Examination Survey in 2009. Participants were defined as having mobility limitation if they reported inability to do without assistances at least one of: walking at least 400 metres; or going up or down a flight of 10 stairs. 9,210 participants aged 60+ were included. Results: Females spent significantly fewer years without mobility limitation (3.2 years difference at age 60) and more years with limitation than males (6.7 years difference at age 60). Significant regional inequalities in years lived without and with limitation were evident, with a consistent pattern across genders although regional differences were smaller than gender differences. Conclusion: This study identifies inequalities in years with and without mobility limitations, with important policy implication.

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 Presented in Session P5. Adult Health and Mortality