Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Americans live longer but with disabilities or health issues, study shows

Republicans have been causing the age for full social security benefits to rise because people are living longer, so they say they can work longer. Anybody who knows many older people know that people living longer doesn't show they can still work at the same level.

When the researchers made guesses as to possible reasons, they didn't consider the influence of increasing exposure to various chemicals in the environment.

Public Release: 14-Apr-2016
Americans live longer but with disabilities or health issues, study shows
The USC-led study findings challenge assumptions that increased longevity is a sign of good health
University of Southern California

Americans are living longer but in poorer health, according to a new study.

The USC-led study examined life expectancy trends and disability rates in a 40-year period, from 1970 to 2010. The analysis of U.S. vital statistics found that the average total lifespan increased for men and women in those 40 years, but so did the proportion of time spent living with a disability.

The study found increased longevity is not necessarily indicative of good health. Most age groups live longer with a disability or other health problem.


"We could be increasing the length of poor quality life more than good-quality life," lead author Eileen Crimmins, USC University Professor and AARP Professor of Gerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. "There are a number of indications that the Baby Boomer generation that is now reaching old age is not seeing improvements in health similar to the older groups that went before them." Only for people aged 65 and older was there a "compression of morbidity" -- a reduction in the proportion of years spent with disability.

The findings have significant implications for policymaking, such as proposals to raise the retirement age for Social Security and Medicare eligibility.


The average lifespan for men increased by 9.2 years to 76.2 years, the researchers found. The number of years they live with a disability increased by 4.7 years while the number of years spent disability-free increased by 4.5 years.

For women, the average lifespan increased by 6.4 years to 81 years. The number of years that women spend with a disability increased by 3.6 years, exceeding the increase in women's disability-free life (2.7 years).

"The smaller increase in healthy life than in total life for women was surprising and another indication that American women have not done as well as American men in terms of improving health in recent decades," Crimmins said.


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