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Health characteristics of adults 55 years of age and over, United States, 2000-2003
  • Published Date:
    April 11, 2006
Filetype[PDF - 901.82 KB]


Details:
  • Corporate Authors:
    National Center for Health Statistics (U.S.) ; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.) ;
  • Pubmed ID:
    16617926
  • Description:
    "OBJECTIVE: This report highlights the health characteristics of four age groups of older adults-55-64 years, 65-74 years, 75-84 years, and 85 years and over-providing estimates by sex, race and Hispanic origin, poverty status, health insurance status, and marital status. METHODS: The estimates in this report were derived from the 2000-2003--National Health Interview Surveys' Family and Sample Adult questionnaires. Estimates are based on interviews with 39,990 sample adults aged 55 years and over. RESULTS: Overall, prevalence rates for fair or poor health, chronic health conditions (with the exception of diabetes), sensory impairments, and difficulties with physical and social activities increased with advancing age, doubling or even tripling between the age groups 55-64 and 85 years and over. About one in five adults aged 55-64 years were in fair or poor health, rising to about one-third of adults aged 85 years and over. Men and women were about equally likely to be in fair or poor health across the age groups studied, but women were more likely to have difficulty in physical or social activities. Sociodemographic variations in health were noted across the age groups studied, with the most consistent and striking results found for poverty status and health insurance coverage. Poor and near poor adults and those with public health insurance were, by far, the most disadvantaged groups of older adults in terms of health status, health care utilization, and health behaviors. CONCLUSIONS: Health status, health care utilization, and health-promoting behaviors among adults aged 55 and over vary considerably by age and other sociodemographic characteristics. Identifying these variations can help government and private agencies pinpoint areas of greatest need and greatest opportunity for extending years of healthy life among the Nation's seniors."

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