Forecasting Trends in Disability in a Super-Aging Society: Adapting the Future Elderly Model to Japan
Japan has experienced pronounced population aging, and now has the highest proportion of elderly adults in the world. Yet few projections of Japan’s future demography go beyond estimating population by age and sex to forecast the complex evolution of the health and functioning of the future elderly. This study adapts to the Japanese population the Future Elderly Model (FEM), a demographic and economic state-transition microsimulation model that projects the health conditions and functional status of Japan’s elderly population in order to estimate disability, health, and need for long term care. Our FEM simulation suggests that by 2040, over 27 percent of Japan’s elderly will exhibit 3 or more limitations in IADLs and social functioning; almost one in 4 will experience difficulties with 3 or more ADLs; and approximately one in 5 will suffer limitations in cognitive or intellectual functioning. Since the majority of the increase in disability arises from the aging of the Japanese population, prevention efforts that reduce age-specific disability (or future compression of morbidity among middle-aged Japanese) may have only a limited impact on reducing the overall prevalence of disability among Japanese elderly.
This study uses data from the Japanese Study on Aging and Retirement (JSTAR), which was conducted by the Research Institute of Economy, Trade, and Industry (RIETI) and Hitotsubashi University in 2007 and 2009. We thank the JSTAR team for providing access to the data. We also thank the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies Japan Fund, the Stanford Center on the Demography and Economics of Health and Aging, and the National Institute on Aging (AG017253) for financial support for this research. Dr. Bhattacharya is grateful for support from the National Institute on Aging for his work on this project (P30 AG017253, R37AG036791 and P01AG05842). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Brian K. Chen & Hawre Jalal & Hideki Hashimoto & Sze-chuan Suen & Karen Eggleston & Michael Hurley & Lena Schoemaker & Jay Bhattacharya, 2016. "Forecasting Trends in Disability in a Super-Aging Society: Adapting the Future Elderly Model to Japan," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, . citation courtesy of