Advertisement

Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 243–261 | Cite as

Short-term Trends in Functional Limitation and Disability Among Older Asians: A Comparison of Five Asian Settings

  • Mary Beth Ofstedal
  • Zachary Zimmer
  • Albert I. Hermalin
  • Angelique Chan
  • Yi-Li Chuang
  • Josefina Natividad
  • Zhe Tang
Original Article

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to examine short-term trends in the prevalence of limitation in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) and Nagi physical functioning tasks among persons age 60 years or older in five Asian settings: Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and the Beijing Municipality. The data come from recent panel surveys of older adults that span a period of 3–4 years during the mid to late 1990s. Results suggest a general trend toward an increase in functional limitation in four of the five settings, with the most pronounced increases occurring for the Nagi functioning tasks. Compositional differences in the population accounted for little of the increase. The paper discusses the potential implications of these results and places them in the context of past and current trends in functional limitation observed in the United States.

Keywords

Short-term trends Functional limitation Disability 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research was undertaken as part of the Comparative Study of Health Transitions in Later Life, supported by parallel grants from the National Institute on Aging, R01 AG20072-01 and R01 AG20063-01. An earlier version of this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Gerontological Society of America, Washington, DC, November 2004. We wish to thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their excellent comments and suggestions.

References

  1. Alam, M. (2006). Ageing in India: Socio-economic and health dimensions. New Delhi, India: Academic Foundation.Google Scholar
  2. Brown, J. W., Liang, J., Krause, N., Akiyama, H., Sugisawa, H., & Fukaya, T. (2002). Transitions in living arrangements among elders in Japan: Does health make a difference? Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 57(4), 209–220.Google Scholar
  3. Colvez, A., & Blanchet, M. (1981). Disability trends in the United States population 1966–76: Analysis of reported causes. American Journal of Public Health, 71(5), 464–471.Google Scholar
  4. Crimmins, E. M., Saito, Y., & Reynolds, S. L. (1997). Further evidence on recent trends in the prevalence and incidence of disability among older Americans from two sources: The LSOA and the NHIS. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 52B(2), 59–71.Google Scholar
  5. Department of Social Medicine (1995). Report of the Beijing multidimentional longitudinal study on aging. Beijing: Beijing Geriatric Clinical and Research Center.Google Scholar
  6. Freedman, V. A., Crimmins, E., Schoeni, R. F., Spillman, B. C., Aykan, H., Kramarow, E., et al. (2004). Resolving inconsistencies in trends in old-age disability: Report from a technical working group. Demography, 41(3), 417–441.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Freedman, V. A., & Martin, L. G. (1998). Understanding trends in functional limitations among older Americans. American Journal of Public Health, 88(10), 1457–1462.Google Scholar
  8. Freedman, V. A., Martin, L. G., & Schoeni, R. F. (2002). Recent trends in disability and functioning among older adults in the United States. Journal of the American Medical Association, 288(24), 3137–3146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fries, J. F. (1980). Aging, natural death, and the compression of morbidity. New England Journal of Medicine, 303(3), 130–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gruenberg, E. M. (1977). The failure of success. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 55(1), 3–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gu, D., & Zeng, Y. (2004). Sociodemographic effects on the onset and recovery of ADL disability among Chinese oldest-old. Demographic Research, 11(1), 1–42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hermalin, A. I. (2000). Ageing in Asia: Facing the crossroads. Comparative Study of the Elderly in Asia Research Reports, No. 00–55. Ann Arbor, MI: Population Studies Center, University of Michigan.Google Scholar
  13. Hermalin, A. I. (2002). The well being of the elderly in Asia: A four-country comparative study. Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  14. Interministerial Committee on the Ageing Population (1999). Report of the Interministerial Committee on the Ageing Population. Singapore: Ministry of Community Development.Google Scholar
  15. Jacqmin-Gadda, H., Fabrigoule, C., Commenges, D., & Dartigues, J. F. (1997). A 5-year longitudinal study of the mini-mental state examination in normal aging. American Journal of Epidemiology, 145, 498–506.Google Scholar
  16. Knodel, J., Ofstedal, M. B., & Hermalin, A. I. (2002). Demographic, socioeconomic and cultural context. In A. I. Hermalin (Ed.), The well-being of the elderly in Asia: A four-country comparative study (pp. 362–416). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kramer, M. (1980). The rising pandemic of mental disorders and associated chronic diseases and disabilities. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 62(Suppl. 285), 282–297.Google Scholar
  18. Liang, J., Liu, X., & Gu, S. (2001). Transitions in functional status among older people in Wuhan, China: Socioeconomic differentials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 54, 1126–1138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lin, D. Y., & Wei, L. J. (1989). The robust inference for the Cox proportional hazards model. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 84, 1074–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Manton, K. G. (1982). Changing concepts of morbidity and mortality in the elderly population. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 60, 183–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Manton, K. G. (1997). Chronic disability trends in elderly United States populations: 1982–1994. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences.Google Scholar
  22. Manton, K. G., Corder, L. S., & Stallard, E. (1993). Estimates of change in chronic disability and institutional incidence and prevalence rates in the U.S. elderly population from the 1982, 1984, and 1989 National Long Term Care Survey. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 48(4), S153–S166.Google Scholar
  23. Mathers, C. D., Murray, C. J. L., Lopez, A. D., Salomon, J. A., & Sadana, R. (2003). Global patterns of health expectancy in the year 2000. In J. M. Robine, C. Jagger, C. D. Mathers, E. M. Crimmins, & R. M. Suzman (Eds.), Determining health expectancies (pp. 335–358). West Sussex, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  24. Mayhew, L. (1999). Health and welfare services expenditure in an aging world. Interim Report. International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis. Number IR-99-035/September.Google Scholar
  25. Ofstedal, M. B., Madans, J. H., & Feldman, J. J. (1994). Estimates of change in functional limitation in the U.S. elderly population. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America, Miami.Google Scholar
  26. Ogawa, N., & Retherford, R. D. (1997). Shifting costs of caring for the elderly back to families in Japan: Will it work? Population and Development Review, 23(1), 59–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rajan, S. I., Mishra, U. S., & Sarma, P. S. (2001). Health concerns among India’s elderly. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 53(3), 191–204.Google Scholar
  28. Schoeni, R. F., Freedman, V. A., & Wallace, R. B. (2001). Persistent, consistent, widespread, and robust? Another look at recent trends in old-age disability. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 56B(4), 206–218.Google Scholar
  29. Schoeni, R. F., Liang, J., Bennett, J., Sugisawa, H., Fukaya, T., & Kobayashi, E. (2006). Trends in old-age functioning and disability in Japan, 1993–2002. Population Studies, 60(1), 39–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Tang, Z., Jiang, J. M., & Futatsuka, M. (2002). An evaluation of transition in functional states among the elderly in Beijing, China. Environmental Health and Preventive Medicine, 7, 211–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Unger, J. M., van Belle, G., & Heyman, A. (1999). Cross-sectional versus longitudinal estimates of cognitive change in non-demented older people: A CERAD study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 47, 559–563.Google Scholar
  32. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (2005). World Population Prospects, the 2004 Revision. Vol 1: Comprehensive Tables ST/ESA/SER.A/177; Vol. II: Sex and Age Distribution of the World Population ST/ESA/SER/A/180. New York: United Nations.Google Scholar
  33. Verbrugge, L. M. (1984). Longer life but worsening health? Trends in health and mortality of middle aged persons. Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 62(3), 475–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Waidmann, T., Bound, J., & Schoenbaum, M. (1995). The illusion of failure: Trends in the self-reported health of the U.S. elderly. The Milbank Quarterly, 73(2), 253–287.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Waidmann, T. A., & Liu, K. (2000). Disability trends among elderly persons and implications for the future. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 55B(5), 298–307.Google Scholar
  36. Zelinski, E. M., & Burnight, K. P. (1997). Sixteen-year longitudinal and time lag changes in memory and cognition of older adults. Psychology and Aging, 12, 503–513.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zeng, Y., Vaupel, J. W., Zhenyu, X., Chunyuan, Z., & Yuzhi, L. (2002). Sociodemographic and health profiles of the oldest old in China. Population and Development Review, 28(2), 251–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zimmer, Z., Liu, X., Hermalin, A., & Chuang, Y. L. (1998). Educational attainment and transitions in functional status among older Taiwanese. Demography, 35(3), 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zimmer, Z., Martin, L. G., & Chang, M-C. (2002). Changes in functional limitations and survival among the elderly in Taiwan: 1993, 1996 and 1999. Population Studies, 3, 265–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Zimmer, Z., Martin, L. G., & Lin, H. S. (2005). Determinants of old-age mortality in Taiwan. Social Science and Medicine, 60(2), 457–470.Google Scholar
  41. Zimmer, Z., Natividad, J. N., Ofstedal, M. B., & Lin, H. S. (2002). Physical and mental health of the elderly. In A. I. Hermalin (Ed.), The Well-Being of the Elderly in Asia: A Four-Country Comparative Study (pp. 362–416). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Beth Ofstedal
    • 1
  • Zachary Zimmer
    • 2
  • Albert I. Hermalin
    • 1
  • Angelique Chan
    • 3
  • Yi-Li Chuang
    • 4
  • Josefina Natividad
    • 5
  • Zhe Tang
    • 6
  1. 1.Population Studies CenterUniversity of MichiganAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUniversity of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA
  3. 3.Department of SociologyNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.Bureau of Health PromotionDepartment of HealthTaichungTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of SociologyUniversity of the PhilippinesQuezon CityPhilippines
  6. 6.Beijing Municipal Network for Health & Care of the ElderlyBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations