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Aging U.S. Baby Boomers Face More Disability

Baby boomers in the United States are more likely than the previous generation to have a disability as they near late-life, suggest a growing number of researchers.

One new study found that baby boomers (ages 49 to 67 in 2013) are living longer than people roughly 20 years older, but are not healthier. While they are less likely to smoke, have emphysema, or a heart attack, they are more likely to be obese, have diabetes, or high blood pressure than the previous generation at similar ages.

Disability levels among older Americans declined steadily during the 1980s and 1990s. This decline was hailed as one of the most significant advances in the health and well-being of Americans in the last quarter of the 20th century.

Martin's team also found growth in disability levels when they examined a wider age group- middle-age adults (ages 40 to 64). The share who reported needing help with personal care and daily tasks rose between 1997 and 2010.

Johns Hopkins University researchers, is following more than 8,000 older Americans annually, to explore how their daily lives change as they age. Rather than relying exclusively on reports from participants, researchers are also giving short performance tests to measure physical and cognitive function.

Read more at: http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2013/us-baby-boomers.aspx

 

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