Factors affecting life expectancy: Evidence from 1980-2009 data in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand

Moon Fai Chan*, M. Kamala Devi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


The authors aim to examine the impact of demographic changes, socioeconomic inequality, and the availability of health care resources on life expectancy in Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. This is a cross-country study collecting annual data from 3 Southeast Asian countries from 1980 to 2008. Life expectancy is the dependent variable with demographics, socioeconomic status, and health care resources as the 3 main determinants. A structural equation model is used, and results show that the availability of more health care resources and higher levels of socioeconomic advantages are more likely to increase life expectancy. In contrast, demographic changes are more likely to increase life expectancy by way of health care resources. The authors suggest that more effort should be taken to expand and improve the coverage of health care programs to alleviate regional differences in health care use and improve the overall health status of people in these 3 Southeast Asian countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-146
Number of pages11
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 4 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Southeast Asia
  • Thailand
  • health care resources
  • life expectancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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