Regional Differentials in Disability Free Life Expectancy in Japan: Trends and Changes between 2000 and 2010

Yuka Minagawa, Sophia University
Yasuhiko Saito, Nihon University

The second phase of Healthy Japan 21 seeks to increase disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) more than life expectancy (LE) for the period of 2013-2024 and to reduce regional inequalities in DFLE. We know relatively little, however, about previous trends in health expectancy at the prefecture-level. Using prefecture-level life tables and data on activity limitation, the present study examines trends and changes in DFLE at birth for 47 Japanese prefectures between 2000 and 2010. We find that LE at birth increased steadily between 2000 and 2010. Contrariwise, there is a variation in terms of health expectancy. The rate of improvement in DFLE lagged behind that in LE for the majority of regions. We noted substantial reductions in the proportion of life free of disability during the past ten years. Our results show declining health expectancy over the decade 2000-2010, thereby raising the question over the feasibility of the second-phase Healthy Japan 21 target.

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Presented in Poster Session 5: Adult Health and Mortality