Thursday, March 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Older people may not only live longer, but better, according to a new study in the UK.
researchers found Since the 1990s, adults aged 65 and over in the UK have enjoyed more years of independent living without disability.
Despite the fact that many chronic health conditions have become more common. In fact, not only healthy older adults, but older adults with heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and vision and hearing problems are experiencing increased disability-free years.
Experts call these findings – published in the March 15 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine – good news. They are in line with other recent research that dispels the notion that people should be afraid of old age.
“I think the main message is that having a long-term illness doesn’t mean you can’t live independently for a long time,” said senior researcher Carol Jagger.
A word of caution: Jagger, an emeritus professor at Newcastle University in the UK, added that the vibrant golden years were no accident.
Because of improved treatments for various chronic diseases, coupled with improved lifestyles and the environment, older adults are likely to live better.
“Treatment for strokecoronary heart disease and diabetes are much better, people are getting treatment earlier,” Jagger said. “Smoking rates are also lower, which will contribute.
Esme Fuller-Thomson, director of the Life Course and Ageing Institute at the University of Toronto, said that while the study was conducted in the UK, research in the US showed a similar trend.
Fuller-Thomson, who was not involved in the study, sees the findings as more “good news.”
“People tend to be pessimistic about aging,” she said. “But now is the perfect time to be a senior.”
The outlook is not entirely rosy, however: Jagger’s team found that people with Dementia They actually spent a higher percentage on disability in their final years than they did in the 1990s.
This may be due to a lack of dementia treatments, Jagger said.
Dementia, on the other hand, actually became less common over time — as opposed to the physical disease the study tracked. By 2011, compared with 1991, the prevalence of dementia among older people in the UK had dropped by 30%.