Global Health Action (Sep 2010)

Patterns of health status and quality of life among older people in rural Viet Nam

  • Hoang Van Minh,
  • Peter Byass1,
  • Nguyen Thi Kim Chuc,
  • Stig Wall

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 3, no. 0
pp. 64 – 69


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Background: To effectively and efficiently respond to the growing health needs of older people, it is critical to have an indepth understanding about their health status, quality of life (QoL) and related factors. This paper, taking advantage of the INDEPTH WHO-SAGE study on global ageing and adult health, aims to describe the pattern of health status and QoL among older adults in a rural community of Viet Nam, and examine their associations with some socio-economic factors. Methods: The study was carried out in the Bavi District, a rural community located 60 km west of Hanoi, the capital, within the Epidemiological Field Laboratory of Bavi (FilaBavi). Face-to-face household interviews were conducted with people aged 50 years and over who lived in the FilaBavi area. The interviews were performed by trained surveyors from FilaBavi using a standard summary version SAGE questionnaire. Both descriptive and analytical statistics were used to examine the patterns of health status and QoL, and associations with socio-economic factors. Results: Higher proportions of women reported both poor health status and poor QoL compared to men. Age was shown to be a factor significantly associated with poor health status and poor QoL. Higher educational level was a significant positive predictor of both health status and QoL among the study subjects. Higher economic status was also associated with both health status and QoL. The respondents whose families included more older people were significantly less likely to have poor QoL. Conclusion: The findings reveal problems of inequality in health status and QoL among older adults in the study setting by sex, age, education and socio-economic status. Given the findings, actions targeted towards improving the health of disadvantaged people (women, older people and lower education and economic status) are needed in this setting.