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What You Need to Know About the New Age Classification by WHO
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently issued a new age classification that differs from the previous one and the one by the Indonesian Ministry of Health. This new classification has implications for the health services and policies for the population. In this article, we will explain what the new age classification by WHO is and how it affects you.
The Previous Age Classification by the Indonesian Ministry of Health
Before we discuss the new age classification by WHO, let's review the previous one by the Indonesian Ministry of Health in 2009. According to this classification, the age groups were as follows[^1^]:
Infancy: 0-5 years old
Childhood: 5-11 years old
Early adolescence: 12-16 years old
Late adolescence: 17-25 years old
Early adulthood: 26-35 years old
Late adulthood: 36-45 years old
Early elderly: 46-55 years old
Late elderly: 56-65 years old
Old age: 65 years old and above
The old age group was further divided into several subgroups by WHO, such as[^1^]:
Middle age: 45-59 years old
Elderly: 60-74 years old
Old elderly: 75-90 years old
Very old: 90 years old and above
The New Age Classification by WHO
The new age classification by WHO is much simpler than the previous one by the Indonesian Ministry of Health. According to this classification, the age groups are as follows[^1^]:
Children under age: 0-17 years old
Youth: 18-65 years old
Middle-aged: 66-79 years old
Elderly: 80-99 years old
Long-lived elderly: 100 years old and above
The Implications of the New Age Classification by WHO
The new age classification by WHO is quite surprising considering that the upper limit of youth is 65 years old. That means, people aged 60 years old are not considered elderly according to the new standard by WHO. Interestingly, 17 years old is still regarded as children under age. Whereas according to the previous classification by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, 17 years old was already in late adolescence.
This new classification has implications for the perspective of society towards the age that is considered adult or elderly. Moreover, health services and policies for the population also need to be reviewed. Policies that were previously aimed at adolescents, for example, now need to be reconsidered so that they can be applied to people aged 65 years old and below.
The Benefits of the New Age Classification by WHO
The new age classification by WHO has some benefits for the health and well-being of the population. Some of these benefits are[^2^] [^3^] [^4^]:
It reflects the changing patterns of mortality and morbidity in the world, especially the increasing life expectancy and healthy ageing of older people.
It provides a more accurate and consistent way of measuring and comparing health outcomes and risks across different countries and regions.
It supports the development and implementation of health policies and programmes that are responsive to the needs and preferences of different age groups.
It promotes the recognition and respect of older people as valuable and active members of society, and challenges the negative stereotypes and discrimination associated with ageing.
It facilitates the use of international classifications and standards for health information, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), and the International Classification of Health Interventions (ICHI).
The Challenges of the New Age Classification by WHO
The new age classification by WHO also poses some challenges for the health and well-being of the population. Some of these challenges are[^1^] [^4^]:
It requires a transition from the previous age classification by the Indonesian Ministry of Health, which may cause confusion and inconsistency in data collection and analysis.
It may not capture the diversity and complexity of ageing experiences, as age is only one factor that influences health and well-being, along with other factors such as gender, ethnicity, education, income, lifestyle, environment, etc.
It may not reflect the cultural and social norms and expectations of different communities regarding ageing and adulthood.
It may not address the specific health issues and challenges faced by older people in low- and middle-income countries, such as poverty, malnutrition, infectious diseases, lack of access to health care, social isolation, etc.
It may not account for the potential impact of emerging threats and opportunities for health and well-being in the future, such as climate change, pandemics, technological innovations, etc.
The new age classification by WHO is a significant change in the way we understand and measure ageing and health. It has both benefits and challenges for the health and well-being of the population. It is important to be aware of this new classification and its implications for our own health and well-being, as well as for our families, communities, and societies. It is also important to support the efforts of WHO and other stakeholders to implement this new classification in a way that is evidence-based, inclusive, respectful, and responsive to the needs and preferences of different age groups. 061ffe29dd