IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Quality of life in an urban Asian population: the impact of ethnicity and socio-economic status


  • Thumboo, Julian
  • Fong, Kok-Yong
  • Machin, David
  • Chan, Siew-Pang
  • Soh, Chang-Heok
  • Leong, Keng-Hong
  • Feng, Pao-Hsii
  • Thio, Szu-tien
  • Boey, Mee-Leng


The relationships between ethnicity, socio-economic status (SES) and health-related quality of life (HRQoL) have not been well characterised in most Asian populations. We therefore studied the influence of ethnicity and SES on HRQoL in a multi-ethnic urban Asian population, adjusting for the influence of other known determinants of HRQoL. In a disproportionately stratified, cross-sectional, population-based survey, Chinese, Malay and Indian subjects in Singapore completed the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36) HRQoL measure and were assessed to determine demographic, socio-economic, psychosocial and other characteristics. Multiple linear regression models were used to study the influence of ethnicity and SES on SF-36 scores while adjusting for the influence of other determinants of HRQoL. The survey participation rate was 92.8%. Ethnic differences in HRQoL were present for all 8 SF-36 scales (p

Suggested Citation

  • Thumboo, Julian & Fong, Kok-Yong & Machin, David & Chan, Siew-Pang & Soh, Chang-Heok & Leong, Keng-Hong & Feng, Pao-Hsii & Thio, Szu-tien & Boey, Mee-Leng, 2003. "Quality of life in an urban Asian population: the impact of ethnicity and socio-economic status," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1761-1772, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:8:p:1761-1772

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Thomas, Duncan & Lavy, Victor & Strauss, John, 1996. "Public policy and anthropometric outcomes in the Cote d'Ivoire," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 155-192, August.
    2. Basu, Kaushik & Foster, James E, 1998. "On Measuring Literacy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1733-1749, November.
    3. Alderman, Harold & Garcia, Marito, 1994. "Food Security and Health Security: Explaining the Levels of Nutritional Status in Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(3), pages 485-507, April.
    4. Haddad, Lawrence James & Alderman, Harold & Appleton, Simon & Song, Lina & Yohannes, Yisehac, 2002. "Reducing child undernutrition," FCND briefs 137, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Shi, Anqing, 2000. "How access to urban potable water and sewerage connections affects child mortality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2274, The World Bank.
    6. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1988. "The Stability of Household Production Technology: A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 535-549.
    7. Gragnolati, Michele, 1999. "Children's growth and poverty in rural Guatemala," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2193, The World Bank.
    8. Barrera, Albino, 1990. "The role of maternal schooling and its interaction with public health programs in child health production," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 69-91, January.
    9. Gibson, John, 2001. "Literacy and Intrahousehold Externalities," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 155-166, January.
    10. Lawrence Haddad & Harold Alderman & Simon Appleton & Lina Song & Yisehac Yohannes, 2003. "Reducing Child Malnutrition: How Far Does Income Growth Take Us?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 107-131, June.
    11. Thomas, D. & Lavy, V. & Strauss, J., 1992. "Public Policy and Anthropometric Outcomes in Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 89, World Bank - Living Standards Measurement.
    12. Paul Glewwe, 1999. "Why Does Mother's Schooling Raise Child Health in Developing Countries? Evidence from Morocco," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 124-159.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mojgan Mirghafourvand & Sakineh Mohammad-Alizadeh Charandabi & Mohammad Asghari Jafarabadi & Nikta Tavananezhad & Mahsa Karkhane, 2016. "Predictors of Health-Related Quality of Life in Iranian Women of Reproductive Age," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 11(3), pages 723-737, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:8:p:1761-1772. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.