Trends Over 4 Decades in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in the United States

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

Objectives

To examine changes over 40 years (1970-2010) in life expectancy, life expectancy with disability, and disability-free life expectancy for American men and women of all ages.

Methods

We used mortality rates from US Vital Statistics and data on disability prevalence in the community-dwelling population from the National Health Interview Survey; for the institutional population, we computed disability prevalence from the US Census. We used the Sullivan method to estimate disabled and disability-free life expectancy for 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010.

Results

Over the 40 years, there was a steady increase in both disability-free life expectancy and disabled life expectancy. At birth, increases in disabled life and nondisabled life were equal for men (4.5 years); for women, at birth the increase in life with disability (3.6 years) exceeded the increase in life free of disability (2.7 years). At age 65 years, the increase in disability-free life was greater than the increase in disabled life.

Conclusions

Across the life cycle, there was no compression of morbidity, but at age 65 years some compression occurred.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles