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following will highlight some indicators relevant for the general public and for public health.

The situation of a high income country like Germany, which is also facing the problem of an

aging society, will be compared with Thailand, a middle income country.

Age distribution and life expectancy

The proportion of the young, middle and elderly age groups in Thailand differ from

Germany in that the proportion of elderly in Germany is more than double of that of Thailand

(see graph above)

5 .

Consequently, the proportions of the younger and middle age groups in

Thailand exceed those in Germany. Life expectancy for both sexes in German

y 6

is five years

higher than in Thailand


(see graph below), but the indicator differs for the two countries

mainly because of the lower life expectancy for Thai males (see graphs below). Life

expectancy at age 60 for males is generally lower than for females in both countries.

Generally, the indicators for females don’t differ much between both countries.

An important aspect of life is its quality. The quality of life can be weakened by

numerous adverse circumstances. One of these is ill-health. Additional indicators of the

average level of the health of populations are measurements combining morbidity and

mortality or the absence of morbidity. One of these measures is healthy life expectancy


8 .

In statistics of the World Health Organization HALE gives the ‘average number of

years that a person can expect to live in full health’. This indicator excludes years a person

was suffering from disease or injury. In Germany both sexes may expect to lead a more or

less healthy lif

e 9

up to the age of 70, which is almost true for Thai females but less so for Thai


Lower life expectancy for males compared with females is a common phenomenon.

Females experience distinct




physiological status from

childhood to reproductive

age and to menarche. Males

don’t go through these

different phases. Females

are therefore generally

more health conscious and

tend less to engage in

unhealthy and dangerous

behaviour. A good example in Thailand is the fact that females participate in greater numbers

in community health schemes than males. For instance, the ratio of males to females

participating in a community screening test for diabetes mellitus was found to be 1 to 2.3 (2).

5 (

accessed May 23, 2016)

6 (

accessed May 23, 2016)

7 (

accessed May 23, 2016)

8 (accessed May 30, 2016)

9 (

accessed May 24, 2016)












Life expectancy at birth (in years)

Healthy life expectancy(in years)

Life expectancy at age 60 (in years)