Disability-Adjusted Life Expectancy and Cognitive Function among Community-Dwelling Adults

Sanghun Nam, Brian Downer, Suna Cha, Jae Sung Choi, Seungmin Yang, Ickpyo Hong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We aimed to calculate disability-adjusted life expectancy (DALE) for Korean older adults based on their sex, educational attainment, and residential region across their cognitive status. We included 3,854 participants (aged 65–91 years) from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging’s seventh survey data. The participant’s cognitive function status (normal, moderately impaired, or severely impaired) was determined based on cognitive examination and physical function independence, which was used to calculate their DALE. Females with normal cognition had higher DALE (7.60 years, Standard Deviation (SD) = 3.88) than males (6.76, SD = 3.40); however, both sexes had comparable DALE for cognitive impairment. In contrast, the DALE values increased with higher educational achievements. Regarding residential areas, the DALE value for participants with normal cognition and moderate impairment was the highest among urban dwellers, while DALE for participants with severely impaired cognitive function was highest among rural dwellers; however, there were no statistically significant differences based on residential conditions. Our findings suggest that demographic characteristics should be considered when developing health policies and treatment strategies to meet the needs of the aging population in Korea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • aging
  • cognition
  • instrumental activities of daily living
  • life expectancy
  • older adult

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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