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Journal Article


Lestari SK, Ng N, Kowal P, Santosa A. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019; 16(8): e16081341.


Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)






The low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are experiencing rapid population ageing, yet knowledge about disability among older populations in these countries is scarce. This study aims to identify the prevalence and factors associated with disability among people aged 50 years and over in six LMICs. Cross-sectional data from the World Health Organization (WHO) Study on global AGEing and adult health Wave 1 (2007-2010) in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation, and South Africa was used. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were undertaken to examine the association between sociodemographic factors, health behaviours, chronic conditions, and activities of daily living (ADL) disability. The prevalence of disability among older adults ranged from 16.2% in China to 55.7% in India. Older age, multimorbidity, and depression were the most common factors related to disability in all six countries. Gender was significant in China (OR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.01-1.29), Ghana (OR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.01-1.48) and India (OR = 1.65, 95% CI: 1.37-1.99). Having no access to social capital was significantly associated with ADL disability in China (OR = 2.57, 95% CI: 1.54-4.31) and South Africa (OR = 4.11, 95% CI: 1.79-9.43). Prevalence data is valuable in these six ageing countries, with important evidence on mitigating factors for each. Identifying determinants associated with ADL disability among older people in LMICs can inform how to best implement health prevention programmes considering different country-specific factors.

Language: en


ADL; LMICs; WHO SAGE; disability; older adults; physical function


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