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The old age dependency ratio (OADR) is a measure used for ageing populations. It involves counting people aged 60 or 65 years to be ‘dependents’ and obtaining their ratio in reference to the working age adults. This purely chronological criterion on dependency is insufficient toward the current state of later-life adults who are in better health than in previous decades. As Thailand’s population is ageing, facilitating its preparation in terms of health of its future population is important. In this study, the OADR is adjusted by integrating health status. Education is also analysed as to how much effect it has on ill-health prevalence.
Using two nationally-representative surveys instruments in Thailand, education-specific prevalence of poor cognition, along with instrumental activities of daily living and depression, were analysed with reference to current and projected population estimates. It is observed that there is a positive education gradient across all health indicators such as in 2016, above 40 percent of those below primary level of education had ill health status compared with less than 20 percent of those with above primary level.
Integrating age-, sex-, and education-specific prevalence for each indicator with population projections to the year 2050, lower projected numbers of persons with ill-health status are observed. Although such is the case of the observation, it is observed that education gradient has the largest effect size on lower cognitive performance. These results estimates prospective health and care needs and the preventive effect of education.
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