July 24, 2009

Unprecedented Global Aging Examined in New Census Bureau Report

Unprecedented Global Aging Examined in New Census Bureau Report
By: Kevin Kinsella and Wan He
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, commissioned by the National Institute on Aging

The average age of the world’s population is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The number of people worldwide 65 and older is estimated at 506 million as of midyear 2008; by 2040, that number will hit 1.3 billion. Thus, in just over 30 years, the proportion of older people will double from 7 percent to 14 percent of the total world population, according to a new report, An Aging World: 2008 [PDF].

The report examines the demographic and socioeconomic trends accompanying this phenomenon. It was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau.

“The world’s population of people over age 65 is growing rapidly, and with it will come a number of challenges and opportunities,” said NIA Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes. “NIA and our partners at the Census Bureau are committed to providing the best data possible so that we can better understand the course of population aging and its implications.”

An Aging World: 2008 examines nine international population trends identified in 2007 by the NIA and the U.S. Department of State (“Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective”). The report also contains detailed information on life expectancy, health, disability, gender balance, marital status, living arrangements, education and literacy, labor force participation and retirement and pensions among older people around the world.

An Aging World: 2008 (PDF)

Why Population Aging Matters: A Global Perspective (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:30 AM | Comments (0)

July 08, 2009

Census Bureau Reports World’s Older Population Projected to Triple by 2050

Census Bureau Reports World’s Older Population Projected to Triple by 2050

The world’s 65-and-older population is projected to triple by midcentury, from 516 million in 2009 to 1.53 billion in 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, the population under 15 is expected to increase by only 6 percent during the same period, from 1.83 billion to 1.93 billion.

In the United States, the population 65 and older will more than double by 2050, rising from 39 million today to 89 million. While children are projected to still outnumber the older population worldwide in 2050, the under 15 population in the United States is expected to fall below the older population by that date, increasing from 62 million today to 85 million.

These figures come from the world population estimates and projections released today through the Census Bureau’s International Data Base. This latest update includes projections by age, including people 100 and older, for 227 countries and areas.

Less than 8 percent of the world’s population is 65 and older. By 2030, the world’s population 65 and older is expected to reach 12 percent, and by 2050, that share is expected to grow to 16 percent.

“This shift in the age structure of the world’s population poses challenges to society, families, businesses, health care providers and policymakers to meet the needs of aging individuals,” said Wan He, demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division.

From 2009 to 2050, the world’s 85 and older population is projected to increase more than fivefold, from 40 million to 219 million. Because women generally live longer than men, they account for slightly more than half of the older population and represent nearly two-thirds of the 85 and older population.

Europe likely will continue to be the oldest region in the world: by 2050, 29 percent of its total population is projected to be 65 and older. On the other hand, sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain the youngest region as a result of relatively higher fertility and, in some nations, the impact of HIV/AIDS. Only 5 percent of Africa’s population is projected to be 65 and older in 2050.

Countries experiencing relatively rapid declines in fertility combined with longer life spans will face increasingly older populations. These countries will see the highest growth rates in their older populations over the next 40 years.

There are four countries with 20 percent or more of their population 65 and older: Germany, Italy, Japan and Monaco. By 2030, 55 countries are expected to have at least one-in-five of their total population in this age category; by 2050, the number of countries could rise to more than 100.

Although China and India are the world’s most populous countries, their older populations do not represent large percentages of their total populations today. However, these countries do have the largest number of older people — 109 million and 62 million, respectively. Both countries are projected to undergo more rapid aging, and by 2050, will have about 350 million and 240 million people 65 and older, respectively.

The International Data Base offers a variety of demographic indicators for countries and areas of the world with populations of 5,000 or more. It provides information on population size and growth, age and sex composition, mortality, fertility and net migration.

Posted by ljridley at 09:49 AM | Comments (0)

June 12, 2009

Effects of Early Life on Elderly Health

Effects of Early Life on Elderly Health
By: Diana Lavery and Marlene Lee
Source: Population Reference Bureau

Personal choices made earlier in life can have lasting effects on elderly health. Decisions about exercise, nutrition, smoking, and drinking behavior, as well as some less obvious choices such as pursuit of higher education, whether or not to marry, and which neighborhood to live in all have consequences much later in life. Not only can such choices in one's adult life affect elderly health, but so can characteristics of one's childhood.

The National Institute on Aging (NIA) supports analysis of the effects of early life on elderly health. Knowledge gained from these analyses can help design programs to improve the choices people make both for themselves and for their children. This newsletter discusses some of the current research undertaken by NIA-sponsored and other researchers on the effects of early life on adult and elderly health.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:16 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2009

Retirement Decisions of Women and Men in Response to Their Own and Spousal Health

Retirement Decisions of Women and Men in Response to Their Own and Spousal Health
By: Serhii Ilchuk
Source: RAND, PRGS Dissertations

This dissertation examines the impact of individual and spousal health on the retirement decisions of both spouses in dual-earner families. The author uses survival analysis techniques to analyze eight biennial waves of a nationally representative panel survey of the U.S. population over age 50. Of the various causes of early retirement, the onset of work disability or functional disability has the biggest effect, followed by major health events and chronic illnesses. The onset of a husband's work disability can lead to an earlier age of retirement not only for the husband himself but also, through joint retirement, for his wife. The author also calculates cost-of-illness estimates for indirect costs (productivity lost through an early retirement) of different health conditions at the individual and societal levels, and estimates total family productivity lost due to the spouse's work disability.

Full text (PDF)

Posted by ljridley at 10:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2009

Rethinking of Age and Aging

Population Bulletin vol 63, No. 4 2008 Rethinking Age and Aging

This Population Bulletin illustrates how to use new measures of population aging that take into account changes in longevity over time and place. None of the usual indicators of aging available adjust for increases in life expectancy. With advances in health and life expectancy, measuring population aging presents a problem to demographers because the meaning of the number of years lived has changed. New measures described in this Population Bulletin take life expectancy differences into account. First, we discuss the surprising history of life expectancy change within the last 150 years. Because of increases in life expectancies, it is misleading to compare those who are chronologically age 40 today with people who were 40 a century ago. Second, we introduce the concept of "prospective age" as a way to compare people who live in periods and places where life expectancies differ. Finally, we build on the concept of prospective age in developing alternative definitions of median age, the elderly population, and old-age dependency ratios.

Posted by yanfu at 12:46 PM | Comments (0)

July 22, 2008

Falls, Depression and Antidepressants in Later Life

Falls, Depression and Antidepressants in Later Life: A Large Primary Care Appraisal
Ngaire Kerse1, Leon Flicker, Jon J. Pfaff, Brian Draper, Nicola T. Lautenschlager, Moira Sim, John Snowdon, Osvaldo P. Almeida
Source: PLoS ONE

Risk factors associated with sustaining a single and sustaining multiple falls differ suggesting potential separate mechanisms for single and multiple falls. Use of antidepressants (most notably SSRIs) and depressive symptoms are independently associated with increased risk of falls in later life. The prevalence of falls with depression means that fall prevention strategies should be a routine part of the management of depression in older people.

Full text (HTML); PDF

Posted by ljridley at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

July 07, 2008

Social Vulnerability, Frailty and Mortality in Elderly People

Social Vulnerability, Frailty and Mortality in Elderly People
Source: PLoS ONE

Social vulnerability is reproducibly related to individual frailty/fitness, but distinct from it. Greater social vulnerability is associated with mortality in older adults. Further study on the measurement and operationalization of social vulnerability, and of its relationships to other important health outcomes, is warranted.

Posted by yanfu at 01:01 PM | Comments (0)

Aging Everywhere from AARP International

Aging Everywhere: AARP International’s resource featuring quick facts, research, and events around the world.

The Aging Everywhere interactive world map serves as a “one-stop? international clearing house of the most relevant and timely information on aging populations worldwide. This site is updated regularly with newly published regional and country specific research, reports, and resources. We intend for it to serve as a useful tool for policymakers, researchers, students, media, and all others interested in the issues of global aging.

Posted by yanfu at 12:16 PM | Comments (0)

July 01, 2008

Successful Ageing in Adversity

Successful ageing in adversity: the LASER–AD longitudinal study
Source: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry
G Livingston, C Cooper, J Woods, A Milne, C Katona

Background: Most models of successful ageing do not allow for the possibility of living "successfully," despite some degree of cognitive or physical impairment. We reviewed the successful ageing and related quality of life literature to identify their potential predictors. We then tested our hypotheses that wellbeing in adversity would be predicted by mental health (anxiety and depression) and social factors rather than physical health and that it would be stable over time.

Method: We interviewed 224 people with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and their family carers, recruited to be representative of those living with AD in the community. We re-interviewed 122 (73.1% of eligible) participants 18 months later. Our main outcome measure was the perception of the person with AD on their life as a whole.

Results: Mean "wellbeing in adversity" scores did not change significantly over time (t = 0.23). Social relationships, subjective mental health, health perception, activities of daily living and baseline wellbeing in adversity were the significant correlates of wellbeing in adversity on univariate analysis. Only baseline wellbeing in adversity and mental health score were significant predictors in our regression analysis. In a well fitting structural equation model, less severe dementia and better health perception predicted fewer mental health problems and social relationships, but were not direct predictors of wellbeing in adversity at 18 months.

Conclusion: Successful ageing was common among a cohort of people with dementia. The most important predictors of this were mental health and social relationships, which fully mediated the relationship we found between health perception and wellbeing 18 months later.


Posted by ljridley at 11:06 AM | Comments (0)

June 24, 2008

Economy's Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans

The Economic Slowdown's Impact on Middle-Aged and Older Americans
Jeffrey Love and Gerard Rainville
Research Report from the AARP

AARP commissioned a nationwide survey to determine how people age 45 and older are responding to the current economic slowdown. The survey asked respondents for their assessments of the economy’s condition, whether they have taken actions in response to the changing economy, and if they felt enough was being done to address economic problems. This executive summary of the study reveals that a majority of those 45 or older believe the economy is in bad shape and that many have adapted their behaviors in response to the floundering economy.

Survey findings include:

* Eighty-one percent say the economy is in fairly bad or very bad condition. A similar percentage (75%) feel the economy is getting worse.
* Over one-fourth of respondents said they are having trouble paying their mortgage or rent and one-third have stopped putting money into their retirement accounts. More than one-fourth (27%) of all workers 45+ have postponed plans to retire.
* As the economy slows and prices rise, most middle-aged and older respondents report that they are having difficulty paying for food, gas, utilities, and medicine, and are responding to the situation by cutting luxuries and postponing major purchases and travel.
* Respondents age 65 and over were less likely than those ages 45-64 to report having taken steps to cope with a slowing economy or increasing prices as a result of the recent economic slowdown. This does not indicate that the older population is better off financially. Rather, the data suggest that the 65 and over group had, even prior to the economic downturn, been forced to adjust their spending habits because of their work status, fixed income, and rising costs.


Posted by ljridley at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

May 23, 2008

Older Americans and Poverty

More Older Americans are Poor than the Official Measure Suggests
Sheila R. Zedlewski, Barbara Butrica
Source: The Urban Institute


The number of poor adults age 65 and older has declined dramatically since the official poverty rate was designed back in the 1960s. Today the federal government considers fewer than 1 in 10 older adults to be poor, compared with about 1 in 3 in the 1960s. These estimates show the share of people with insufficient income to meet basic living expenses, such as food and housing. However, substantial research shows that the official poverty measure no longer reflects the true resources or needs of older adults.

The lack of an accurate poverty measure for older adults hampers efforts to reform Medicare and Social Security, which face significant revenue shortfalls. Reform proposals often aim to reduce costs by combining benefit cuts with increased cost sharing for older adults. To target any cuts or increased costs to older adults with the greatest ability to pay, an accurate measure of economic well-being is critical.


Posted by ljridley at 10:09 AM | Comments (0)

May 02, 2008

Future care of dependent elderly population in Europe

Report of study projecting dependent elder population up to 2030, distinguishing among family situations.

Posted by nebarr at 08:47 AM | Comments (0)

April 07, 2008

Variation in Health Care Costs

Researchers Find Huge Variations in End-of-Life Treatment
Robert Pear | NY TIMES
April 7, 2008

Based on a report from the Dartmouth Atlas of Health Care
Tracking the Care of Patients with Severe Chronic Illness

Posted by lisan at 09:52 PM | Comments (0)

April 03, 2008

Treatment of Hypertension in Patients 80 Years of Age or Older

Authors: Nigel S. Beckett, et al.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine

Elevated blood pressure is common in persons 80 years of age or older, a group constituting the fastest-growing segment of the general population. HYVET provides unique evidence that hypertension treatment based on indapamide (sustained release), with or without perindopril, in the very elderly, aimed to achieve a target blood pressure of 150/80 mm Hg, is beneficial and is associated with reduced risks of death from stroke, death from any cause, and heart failure.

Abstract; PDF

Posted by ljridley at 10:25 AM | Comments (0)

March 27, 2008

Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being

Older Americans 2008 provides an updated, accessible compendium of indicators, drawn from the most reliable official statistics about the well-being of Americans primarily age 65 and over. The 160-page report contains data on 38 key indicators—and a one-time special feature on health literacy.

Posted by yanfu at 01:50 PM | Comments (0)

Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2007

Social Security Programs Throughout the World: The Americas, 2007
Source: Social Security Administration, Office of Policy

The combined findings of this series, which also includes volumes on Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, are published at 6-month intervals over a 2-year period. Each volume highlights features of social security programs in the particular region.

Posted by yanfu at 10:57 AM | Comments (0)

March 25, 2008

Max Planck Institute: Comparative analysis of mortality patterns

"Regularities and Deviations in Mortality Trends of the Developed World."

Posted by nebarr at 09:34 AM | Comments (0)

U-M Retirement Research Newsletter - 2008

Resources on key findings in health and disability.

Posted by nebarr at 09:21 AM | Comments (0)

CMS releases data on Medicare enrollment

National Trends 1966-2007
Medicare State Enrollment 2004-2006
(PDF files)

Posted by nebarr at 09:15 AM | Comments (0)

Report from Urban Institute

"Can Faster Economic Growth Bail Out Our Retirement Programs?"

Posted by nebarr at 08:43 AM | Comments (0)

Population Reference Bureau webcast

"How Older Women Can Shield Themselves From Poverty."

Posted by nebarr at 08:39 AM | Comments (0)

NIA March 2008 Aging Research Newsletter

Focus on aging research.

Posted by nebarr at 08:30 AM | Comments (0)

March 17, 2008

Getting More Stodgy? Maybe Not

Washington Post
Getting More Stodgy? Maybe Not
Susan Morse
March 11, 2008

Source: Danigelis, Nicholas L.; Hardy, Melissa; Cutler, Stephen J. 2007. "Population Aging, Intracohort Aging, and Sociopolitical Attitudes." American Sociological Review, Volume 72, Number 5, (October): 812-830

Posted by lisan at 10:13 PM | Comments (0)

March 13, 2008

Est costs of future medical care higher for today's retirees

A 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need about $225,000 in savings to cover medical costs in retirement, according to Boston-based Fidelity Investments. The estimate is up 4.7% from figure for 2007.

Posted by nebarr at 11:17 AM | Comments (0)

Mental acuity may be improving among seniors

New findings suggest that seniors may be gaining protection from memory loss via better cardiovascular health and more education. Researchers: Kenneth Langa (University of Michigan) and colleagues.

Posted by nebarr at 10:45 AM | Comments (0)