According to a recent study baby boomers are less likely to see themselves as being in excellent health and exercise regularly than the same age group 20 years earlier.
Scary Health-Care Statistics on the Broken-Down Boomer Generation – Businessweek
At first I was puzzled by this report because I’ve heard for years about how far modern medicine has gone towards increasing our life span. What I hadn’t considered was that longevity and health don’t always equal the same thing.
An organization that represents the insurance industry says that in the last 5 years applications for disability and SSI have increased and while some of this is to be blamed on the rough economy some of it is also real declines in health.
Most striking to me were the jump in high cholesterol levels – more than doubled from 34% to 74%, use of a cane or other walking aid – more than doubled from 3.3 to 6.9%, and obesity up 10% to almost 4 out of every 10 boomers. All this is accompanied by a marked decrease in regular exercise and increase in alcohol consumption.
So while it’s true that modern medicine has gained tremendous ground in the fight against disease it seems that our LIFESTYLES, are robbing us of the ability to truly enjoy those added years.
Image via Wikipedia
A new study (June 2011) done by the University of Washington looked at a U.S. county by county comparison of deaths over a 20 year period between 1987 and 2007. Their findings show that the life expectancy for women has decreased in some parts of the Southern U.S. and the life expectancy overall varies a lot for both men and women in different parts of the country.
New York Leaps in Life Expectancy
Surprisingly Manhattan saw the largest increase in life expectancy with men gaining almost thirteen years and women more than seven. The biggest losers? Five counties in Mississippi and Alabama. In fact these counties had life expectancy rates comparable to El Salvador and Honduras.
Women catching up with Men
Over the last 50 years women have been increasingly become the target of tobacco manufacturers marketing campaigns and to steal a phrase from one of their most successful ads “you’ve come a long way baby”. Unhealthy lifestyles that include smoking, obesity, inactivity and other things that lead to heart disease and diabetes has a lot to do with the decline over the years of life expectancy among women.
To see where your county stands in this study follow the link to view an inter-active map.