Gender, educational and ethnic differences in active life expectancy among older Singaporeans.

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The aim of the present study was to compute total life expectancy (TLE), active life expectancy (ALE) and inactive life expectancy among older Singaporeans by gender, education and ethnicity.


Data from a longitudinal survey of older Singaporeans were used. No difficulty in carrying out activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living was considered as "active." Transition probabilities across health states (active/inactive/dead) were assessed to develop multistate life tables, which estimated TLE, ALE and inactive life expectancy.


At age 60 years, women, versus men, had significantly higher TLE (25.9, 95% confidence interval [CI] 24.0-27.8 vs 21.6, 95% CI 20.1-23.1), but similar ALE (18.1, 95% CI 17.0-19.2 vs 18.9, 95% CI 17.7-20.2). Those with high (secondary or higher), versus low (primary or less), education had significantly higher TLE (28.5, 95% CI 25.0-32.0 vs 22.5, 95% CI 21.1-23.9) and ALE (23.5, 95% CI 21.2-25.7 vs 17.1, 95% CI 16.1-18.0) at age 60 years. Those of Chinese, versus non-Chinese, ethnicity had significantly higher ALE at age 60 years (19.4, 95% CI 18.4-20.3 vs 15.0, 95% CI 13.4-16.7).


Unlike Western nations, there was no gender difference in ALE among older adults in Singapore. However, difference in ALE by education among older Singaporeans was similar to that observed in Western societies. Policies focusing specifically on improving women's health at all ages, in addition to policies that increase population education levels, are promising approaches to improving ALE. Recognizing ethnic differences in ALE will help target policies that increase ALE in multicultural societies.





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Chan, Angelique, Rahul Malhotra, David B Matchar, Stefan Ma and Yasuhiko Saito (2016). Gender, educational and ethnic differences in active life expectancy among older Singaporeans. Geriatrics & gerontology international, 16(4). pp. 466–473. 10.1111/ggi.12493 Retrieved from

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David Bruce Matchar

Professor of Medicine

My research relates to clinical practice improvement - from the development of clinical policies to their implementation in real world clinical settings. Most recently my major content focus has been cerebrovascular disease. Other major clinical areas in which I work include the range of disabling neurological conditions, cardiovascular disease, and cancer prevention.
Notable features of my work are: (1) reliance on analytic strategies such as meta-analysis, simulation, decision analysis and cost-effectiveness analysis; (2) a balancing of methodological rigor the needs of medical professionals; and (3) dependence on interdisciplinary groups of experts.
This approach is best illustrated by the Stroke Prevention Patient Outcome Research Team (PORT), for which I served as principal investigator. Funded by the AHCPR, the PORT involved 35 investigators at 13 institutions. The Stroke PORT has been highly productive and has led to a stroke prevention project funded as a public/private partnership by the AHCPR and DuPont Pharma, the Managing Anticoagulation Services Trial (MAST). MAST is a practice improvement trial in 6 managed care organizations, focussing on optimizing anticoagulation for individuals with atrial fibrillation.
I serve as consultant in the general area of analytic strategies for clinical policy development, as well as for specific projects related to stroke (e.g., acute stroke treatment, management of atrial fibrillation, and use of carotid endarterectomy.) I have worked with AHCPR (now AHRQ), ACP, AHA, AAN, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, NSA, WHO, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Key Words: clinical policy, disease management, stroke, decision analysis, clinical guidelines

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