Dr Vasoontara Yiengprugsawan

PhD (Epidemiol, Econ, and Pop Health)
Senior Research Fellow
ANU College of Health and Medicine
T: +612 6125 6320

Areas of expertise

  • Epidemiology 111706
  • Public Health And Health Services 1117
  • Aged Health Care 111702
  • Health Promotion 111712
  • Primary Health Care 111717


I am currently working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing based at the ANU Research School of Population Health. Funded through the Australian Research Council, I have contributed to Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (2014-) and ARC Discovery Project on ageing and health in Australia and China (2016-2019). 

In 2016, I was awarded the Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship and was appointed as an Honorary Senior Lecturer based at University College London working on the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. Between 2014 and 2016, I was awarded an 18-month Fellowship with the Asia-Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies and led a regional comparative study entitled "Health system responses to population ageing and non-communicable diseases in Asia" published by the World Health Organization in 2016.(http://www.searo.who.int/entity/asia_pacific_observatory/publications/country_comparative_studies/ccs_ageing_ncd/en/)

In the past 10 years, I led a range of analyses for the Thai Cohort Study (funded by the Wellcome Trust UK and the Australian NHMRC) on health-risk transition, health service use, and social determinants of health (50+ international peer-reviewed publications). I also contributed to analyses of other large cohort studies, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children and the 45 and Up Study of older Australians.

My professional contributions include involvement with the Australian Centre on Quality of Life representing the International Wellbeing Group for Thailand (2010-), appointment as a part of the international editor team for the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life and Wellbeing Research (published by Springer in 2013), and served as an Associate Editor for BMC Public Health (2014-2016).

Before joining the ANU, I worked as an Associate Migration Policy Officer at the International Organization for Migration (Geneva, 2002-2005) drafting various policy papers, contributing to statistics for the World Migration Report, and coordinating the 3-volume training manual: Essentials of Migration Management.

Researcher's projects

An epidemiological study of ear infections and their impact on children - completed

Unconditional financial support from GlaxoSmithKline Australia Pty, Ltd

     - Yiengprugsawan V, Hogan A, Strazdins L. 2013. Longitudinal analysis of ear infection and hearing impairment: findings from 6-year prospective cohorts of Australian children. BMC Pediatrics. doi:10.1186/1471-2431-13-28.    

     - Yiengprugsawan V, Hogan A. 2013. Ear infections and its associated risk factors, comorbidity, and health service use in Australia. International Journal of Paediatrics. doi: 10.1155/2013/963132.

     - Hogan A, Phillips RL, Howard D, Yiengprugsawan V. 2014. Psychosocial outcomes of children with ear infections and hearing problems. BMC Pediatrics. doi: 10.1186/1471-2431-14-65.


UK-Thai comparative study on psychosocial factors and health - completed

     This is a collaboration between the Thai Cohort Study and Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London on job characteristics and mental health.

     - Lazzarino AI, Yiengprugsawan V, Steptoe A et al. 2014. The associations between unhealthy behaviours, mental stress, and low socio-economic status: international comparisons of samples from Thailand and England. Globalization & Health. doi: 10.1186/1744-8603-10-10. 

     -  Yiengprugsawan V, Lazzarino AI, Steptoe A et al. 2015. Psychological job characteritics, wealth, and culture: differential effects on mental health in the UK and Thailand. Globalization & Health. doi:10.1186/s12992-015-0116-x.


Regional comparative study on health systems in Asia - completed

    Commissioned by the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies (World Health Organization), this study involves an overview of NCDs and ageing population, analytical assessment of current health service delivery, and policy recommendations. 

      -  Yiengprugsawan V, Healy J, Kendig H. (Eds) 2016. Health systems responses to population ageing and non-communicable diseases in Asia. Comparative Country Studies, Vol 2, No 2. World Health Organization on behalf of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, WHO Regional Office for South-East Asia. ISBN 978 92 9022 517 1.

  • Study Advisor Team and Yiengprugsawan V. 2016. About this report, pp. 1-7.
  • Yiengprugsawan V, Byles J, Kendig H, Healy J 2016. Population ageing and NCDs, pp. 9-33.
  • Yiengprugsawan V, Healy J, Kendig H, Byles J. 2016. Reflections on health service responses to NCDs in older populations, pp. 111-126.
  • Yiengprugsawan V, Healy J, Kendig H, Neelamegam M, Karunapema P, Kasemsup V. 2017. Reorienting health services to people with chronic health conditions: diabetes and stroke services in Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Health Systems & Reform. doi: 10.1080/23288604.2017.1356428.

Available student projects

- Health and quality of life using WHO Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE) using the case studies of China and/or India

- Cause of deaths using 10-year linked national mortality data from the Thai Cohort Study 

- Asian migrants, productive ageing, and family caregivers in Australia based on Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA)

- Ageing and health in Vietnam

Current student projects

Nutrition transition and diabetes (Thailand) - Doctor of Philosophy

Ageing and intergenerational relationship (Vietnam)- Doctor of Philosophy 

Healthcare policy for older populations (South Korea) - Doctor of Philosophy

Cognitive health in older adults (Australia, China) - Master of Public Health

Traditional medicine and quality of life (China) - Bachelor of Philosophy/Science Honours

Past student projects

Heat stress and human health 

Dr. Benjawan Tawatsupa, Health Impact Assessment Division, Thai Ministry of Public Health.

     - Tawatsupa B, Yiengprugsawan V, Kjellstrom T, et al (2013). Association between heat stress and occupational injury among Thai workers. Industrial Health. 51(1):34-46.

     - Tawatsupa B, Yiengprugsawan V, et al (2012). Heat stress, health and well-being: findings from a large national cohort of Thai adults. BMJ Open. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2012-001396.


Universal health insurance 

Dr. Chen Li, Department of Health Services, Fourth Military Medical University, PR China.

     - Li C, Yu X, Butler JR, Yiengprugsawan V. (2011). Moving towards universal health insurance in China: performance, issues and lessons from Thailand. Social Science & Medicine. 73(3): 359-366. 


Burden of injury: morbidity and mortality 

 Joel Adams-Bedford, MBBS student, ANU Medical School

     - Tran T, Adams-Bedford J, Yiengprugsawan V. (2016). Psychological distress and injury in a large cohort of Thai cohort. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164767.

Hypertension and caregivers 

Laura Seville, Honours student, NCEPH-RSPH, ANU


Alcohol and chronic conditions - completed                                                              
Dr Mami Wakabayashi (visiting PhD student from Osaka University)    
      - Wakabayashi M, Berecki-Gisolf J, Banwell C, .., Yiengprugsawan V et al. (2016). Non-fatal injury in Thailand from 2005 to 2013: Incidence trends and links to alcohol consumption patterns in the Thai Cohort Study. Journal of Epidemiology. 26(9):471-80.
     - Wakabayashi M, McKetin R, Banwell C, Yiengprugsawan V et al. (2015). Alcohol consumption patterns in Thailand and their relationship with non-communicable disease. BMC Public Health. 15:1297. doi: 10.1186/s12889-015-2662-9.

Nutrition transition 
     - Rimpeekool W, Yiengprugsawan V, Banwell C, et al. (2017). Nutrition label experience, obesity, high blood pressure, and high blood lipids in a cohort of 42,750 Thai adults. PLoS One. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0189574.
     - Rimpeekool W, Kirk M, Yiengprugsawan V, Banwell C, Seubsman S, Sleigh A. (2017). Nutrition label experience and consumption of transitional foods among a nationwide cohort of 42,750 Thai adults. British Food Journal. 119(2): 425-439.  
     -  Rimpeekool W, Seubsman S, .., Yiengprugsawan V, Sleigh A. (2015). Food and nutrition labelling in Thailand: a long march from subsistence producers to international traders. Food Policy. 56:59-66.

Cognitive impairment among older Chinese 

     - Yuan B, Yiengprugsawan VAssociations between a history of mild depression and cognitive performance among older adults in Shandong, China (under review).

Use and prevalence of traditional medicine in later life in mainland China 

     - Aw J, Yiengprugsawan V, Gong CH. Use and Prevalence of Traditional Medicine in Later Life in Mainland China (under review).


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Updated:  22 September 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers