People Are Now Living More Years in Good Health
THURSDAY, March 17, 2022 (HealthDay News). According to a new British study, older people can live longer and better. The researchers found that since the 1990s, British adults aged 65 and over have been living independently without disabilities. This is even though many chronic diseases have become more common. Disability-free years have increased among healthy older adults—those living with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, vision, and hearing problems.
The experts named the findings — published March 15 in the journal PLOS Medicine — good news. And they are consistent with other recent research that refutes the notion that old age should be feared.” I think the main takeaway is that having a chronic disease doesn’t mean you can’t live an independent life for a long time,” said senior researcher Carol Jagger. The caveat is this: Bright golden years don’t happen by accident, added Jagger, emeritus professor at Newcastle University in England. Older people are likely feeling better thanks to improved treatments for various chronic diseases and changes for the better in lifestyle and the environment.
“Treatment for conditions like stroke, coronary heart disease, and diabetes has gotten a lot better, and people are getting treated earlier,” Jagger said. “Smoking levels have also been reduced, which has contributed.”According to Esme Fuller-Thomson, director of the Life Cycle and Aging Institute at the University of Toronto. Studies in America showed similar trends. At the same time, the survey was conducted in the UK. Fuller-Thomson, who was not involved in the study, described the results as another “great news.”
“There is a bleak notion about aging,” she said. “But there has never been a better time to be an older person.”
However, the outlook has not always been positive: Jagger’s team found that older people with dementia spend a slightly higher percentage of their final years with a disability compared to the 1990s.
According to Jagger, this may be due to the lack of treatment for dementia.
On the other hand, dementia has become less common over time, in contrast to the physical ailments tracked in the study. By 2011, dementia was 30% less common among British older people than in 1991.