Study Generation Now Entering 60s Less Healthy Than Previous Generations

11.13.09 | FL News Team

A study on health and aging from the University of California at Los Angeles finds Americans now entering their 60's suffer from more disabilities than previous generations. Researchers looked at data involving three groups of adults aged 60-to-69, 70-to-79, and 80 and older. They assessed the ability of each group to conduct ordinary activities ranging from getting into and out of bed to walking one-quarter mile or climbing ten steps without stopping to rest. The scientists discovered the younger group developed more functional limitations over their nine years of observation than those in the 70-to-79 age group and even those over the age of 80. In some cases the older groups suffered from fewer disabilities than the younger ones.

Teresa Seeman, UCLA professor of medicine and the principal investigator for the study suggests the finding doesn't bode well for the future. She says "if this trend continues unchecked, it will put increasing pressure on our society to take care of these disabled individuals." That, in turn, puts more pressure on the healthcare system. The entire study, funded by The National Institute on Aging will be published in the January issue of the "American Journal of Public Health."