Essays on Social Disparities in Health among Older People in Malaysia

  • Syed Zahiruddin Bin Syed Zainulabidin

Student thesis: Unknown


In the context of developing countries, the health effects due to increases in the number of older people are still not fully understood. Based on the evidence in developed countries, social determinants that influence health could be used to explain the effects as individuals’ health is both a determinant and an outcome of their socioeconomic circumstances. This study contributes to existing research by investigating associations between health outcomes and social disparities that relate to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) occurrences among older people in Malaysia. In addition, the issue of unmet healthcare needs is also investigated, in which older people with NCDs were not receiving appropriate healthcare interventions that they needed. At this point, policymakers in the country should be aware that older people with greater health needs may also be those with fewer means to access healthcare. In this study, social disparities are found to be an important discourse in understanding health differences at multiple levels - individuals and also districts where they resided. These levels are key areas in understanding how individuals and contextual processes operate as well as how their effects distributed along the spatial scale. Here, the estimation models and geographical maps developed by means of multilevel and spatial regression techniques could offer policymakers with systematic approaches to track health differences due to social disparities across districts in a comparable and interpretable manner. The evidence could also help policymakers to formulate effective health policies that are recent, precise and targeted. Furthermore, the findings may be instrumental in realising multi-sectoral efforts to overcome variations and complexities of health issues among older people that are beyond the control and authority of a single health ministry.
Date of Award31 Dec 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGindo Tampubolon (Supervisor) & Ronald Ramlogan (Supervisor)


  • Malaysia
  • Elderly
  • INLA
  • Multilevel
  • Healthcare
  • Social disparity
  • Older people

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