BOSTON, MA – With the first baby boomers entering their 60s, issues
of life expectancy and quality of life are more important than ever.
There’s plenty of good news for the “abbies” (aging baby boomers):
Disability rates are falling, and research shows that older Americans
are staying healthy for much longer than ever before, says the Harvard Health Letter.
to the latest figures, average life expectancy in the United States is
77.6 years, compared with 75.4 in 1990, reports the July issue of the
Harvard Health Letter. Furthermore, old age begets older age. Today, a
65-year-old American man can expect to live to 81.6; if he reaches the
age of 85, he can expect to live to see 90. Women still outlive
men—although the gap is closing—but the same demographic pattern holds.
Old age adds to life expectancy.
compared with people in other countries, Americans aren't doing so
well. American males and females rank 12th and 15th, respectively, in
life expectancy at age 65. The United States also lags when it comes to
years spent in good health. The Harvard Health Letter cites findings of
a recent study comparing the health of people ages 55–64 in England and
the United States. Americans were found to be less healthy than their
English counterparts, with higher rates of cancer, diabetes, high blood
pressure, lung disease, and stroke.
Health Letter article also includes a quiz that uses information on
your health habits, personal characteristics, and medical problems to
help you determine your life expectancy.