Healthy After 65
Today’s post is a short one and focuses on a new CDC report on healthy life expectancy (HLE) at age 65. This differs from total life expectancy (LE) and is a measure of how long the average person can expect to life in reasonably good health after they hit 65. It is important because data like this can help individuals, families, governments, and other organizations think about health and other services that older people will need over time. The figure below shows estimates based on 2007-2009 data. For those who want to take a deeper dive, the report is full of all sorts of information on the effects of sex, state, and race on healthy life expectancy. In general women do better than men; there is substantial regional variation with issues in the South especially and blacks do worse than whites.
Here is the bottom line from the CDC report:
“For the total population at age 65 years, HLE was lowest among southern states. For all persons at age 65 years, the highest HLE was observed in Hawaii (16.2 years) and the lowest was in Mississippi (10.8 years). During 2007–2009, HLE as a percentage of LE for persons at age 65 years for the total U.S. population ranged from a low of 61.5% in Mississippi to a high of 78.2% in Vermont (Table). Conversely, the number of remaining years in fair or poor health for persons aged 65 years was 6.7 out of 17.5 years of LE for those living in Mississippi and 4.2 years out of 19.4 years for those living in Vermont.”
My bottom line is that this regional and other differences noted in the report are not going to be solved by medical care alone and that some areas of the country need aggressive public health interventions to catch up. These topics have been covered many times in earlier posts on life expectancy.
This entry was posted on Thursday, July 25th, 2013 at 5:12 am and is filed under Current Events, Research and Health. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.