Health and Ageing in the Developing World

  1. David Evered Organizer and
  2. Julie Whelan
  1. Gary R. Andrews

Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470513583.ch3

Ciba Foundation Symposium 134 - Research and the Ageing Population

Ciba Foundation Symposium 134 - Research and the Ageing Population

How to Cite

Andrews, G. R. (2007) Health and Ageing in the Developing World, in Ciba Foundation Symposium 134 - Research and the Ageing Population (eds D. Evered and J. Whelan), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470513583.ch3

Author Information

  1. Department of Primary Care and Community Medicine, Flinders University of South Australia, Flinders Medical Centre, Bedford Park, South Australia 5062, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 SEP 2007

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780471914204

Online ISBN: 9780470513583



  • health;
  • ageing;
  • sex differences;
  • adverse health-related behaviour levels;
  • developing countries


Although ageing is not yet a high priority issue for health planners, policy makers and clinicians in most developing countries there will be a growing need in coming years to pay more attention to the important health issues associated with population ageing in the developing world. This paper reports some of the relevant findings of a cross-national study (sponsored by the World Health Organization) of the health and social aspects of ageing in four developing countries — Republic of Korea, the Philippines, Fiji and Malaysia. The key findings are compared and contrasted with those of a similar eleven-country WHO study in Europe. In very broad terms, the overall demographic, physical, mental health and social patterns and trends associated with ageing as demonstrated by age-group and sex differences were consistent throughout the four countries studied. Comparisons with European findings in other similar studies underlined the fundamental universality of age-related changes in biophysical, behavioural and social characteristics. The importance of the family in developing countries was evident, with about three-quarters of those aged 60 and over in the four countries living with children, often in extended family situations. Levels of adverse health-related behaviour and the prospect of changing patterns of morbidity with further increases in the total and proportional numbers of aged persons point to a need for emphasis on preventive health measures and programmes directed to the maintenance of the physical and mental health of the ageing population.