Dr Vasoontara Yiengprugsawan

PhD (Epidemiol, Econ, and Pop Health)
Visiting Fellow (2020-) Fellow (2016-19) Research Fellow (2012-15) Postdoc (2008-11)
College of Health & Medicine

Areas of expertise

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


Over the past 15 years, my academic research has focused on economic and health inequalities in mid and later life, risk factors and burden of non-communicable diseases, progress towards Universal Health Coverage, and health systems strengthening in emerging economies in Asia.

As of 2020, I am a Visiting Fellow at the ANU Research School of Population Health. From 2016 to 2019, I was working as a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing (CRAHW) in which I contributed to the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (ageing well and productively research strand) and the 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 WHO.(http://www.searo.who.int/entity/asia_pacific_observatory/publications/country_comparative_studies/ccs_ageing_ncd/en/)

Over the past 10 years, I led a range of epidemiological analyses for the Thai Cohort Study (funded by the Wellcome Trust UK and the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council) on health-risk transition, health service use, and social determinants of health resulting 50+ international peer-reviewed publications. I also substantially contributed to analyses of other large cohort studies in Australia, including the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC), Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA), 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-), part of the international editor team for the Encyclopaedia of Quality of Life and Wellbeing Research (published by Springer in 2013), an Associate Editor for BMC Public Health (2014-2016), and on Editorial Board for Geriatrics (2019-).

Before joining the ANU, I worked as an Associate Migration Policy Officer at the International Organization for Migration (Geneva, 2002-2005) leading coordination of multi-partner international conferences, preparing various policy papers, contributing to statistics for the World Migration Report 2003, 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. 132 pages.

  • 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. 3(3): 171-181. 

Past student projects

Heat stress and human health - PhD supervision

  • Tawatsupa B, Yiengprugsawan V, Kjellstrom T, et al (2013). Association between heat stress and occupational injury among Thai workers. Industrial Health51(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  - PhD supervision (visiting student)

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

 Burden of injury: morbidity and mortality  - Medical student research supervision

  • 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.

Alcohol and chronic conditions - PhD supervision (visiting student)                                 

  • 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  - PhD supervision

  • 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  - Master of Public Health supervision

  • Yuan B, Yiengprugsawan V. 2019. Associations between a history of depression and cognitive performance among older adults in Shandong, China. Community Mental Health Journal. doi: 10.1007/s10597-019-00461-1.

Traditional medicine use in later life in China - Bachelor of Philosophy supervision

  • Aw JYH, Yiengprugsawan V, Gong CH. 2019. Utilization of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners in Later Life in Mainland China. Geriatrics (Basel). 2019 Aug 25;4(3). 

 Ageing and intergenerational relationships in Vietnam - PhD supervision

  • Trinh QT, Yiengprugsawan V, Kendig H. Older people’s life satisfaction, health and intergenerational relationships in Vietnam. J Pop Ageing. doi: 10.1007/s12062-020-09276-5. 


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Updated:  22 October 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers