November 25,2011
As we go through the demographic transition in the Eastern Mediterranean should we be worried about the rise in the elderly population in Lebanon in the next few decades?

What was the changes in life expectancy over the last decade, what are the mortality rates for those above the age of 65? How much of health resources are driven by healthcare for the elderly as compared to the adult and young population?

Do elderly face more barriers to access healthcare compared to subjects below the age of 65? How many of the older adult population require healthcare assistance at home? What are the healthcare priorities among the elderly? What are the most debilitating health conditions that require assistance at home or admission to a long-term residence?

How much health inequities do exist between those who benefit from retirement pension and those who don’t? What are the strongest social determinants of health among the elderly? Where are we regarding pension reform in Lebanon? What consequences could we forecast as a result of delays?

These are a few among the many questions one might raise about the elderly in Lebanon and the Eastern Mediterranean. We solicited the participation of worldwide and regional experts, researchers and stakeholders involved in issues related to the elderly and called for the submission of abstracts of unpublished research and health interventions.

We are glad to have the collaboration of the Center of Studies on Aging. We are extremely appreciative of the constant support of UNFPA to the LEA activities. We would like to thank also the WHO for its sponsorship.

The Lebanese Epidemiological Association look forward to sharing data and information relevant to the health and healthcare of the elderly in a challenging context of demographic transition, globalized economy and raising healthcare demand and costs.

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Mary E. Deeb, PhD
President of the Lebanese Epidemiological Association (LEA)