Determinants of Chronic Illness Among Aged Population in Ghana: A Multinomial Logit Approach

  • Christiana Cynthia Nyarko
  • Kofi Agyarko University of Mines and Technology
  • Peter Kwesi Nyarko
  • Lewis Brew


Generally, the constant change in demographic trends among the aged depict gradual increase in the size of the aged population globally. The aged population is often capitalised with degenerative conditions such as chronic illness which affect their ability to function effectively and often require special support. Despite the increase in the size of the aged population and their associated degenerative conditions, very few descriptive studies on the determinants of chronic illness among the aged has been researched especially in developing countries such as Ghana and there is no compelling evidence on the association of chronic illness and its determinants. Thus, this study seeks to analyse and predict the impact of age, gender, education, marital status, Quality of Life (QoL), social cohesion, settlement and depression on chronic illness among the aged population in Ghana. From the studies a Multinomial Logit Regression (MLR) was employed to analyse the data obtained from the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) under, Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE), 2012. It was revealed that out of the 1384 sampled, 71% had no chronic illness whilst 22% and 7% had one and two or more chronic illness respectively. Again, it was observed that, Depression State, Gender, Marital Status and Settlement Type (rural or urban) play significant roles in determining the likelihood of the aged getting chronic illness while Physical Function, Social Cohesion, QoL, Age and Education Level were not statistically significant determinants of chronic illness. Our findings demonstrate that chronic illness among the aged is constantly increasing in Ghana especially in the urban communities and need to be addressed urgently through governmental policies and programs in the quest to help salvage the deteriorating conditions of the aged.