17 Mar Disability-Free Life Expectancy Increasing
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Holly Bennett PhD
Population Health Sciences Institute
Campus for Ageing and Vitality
Newcastle upon Tyne
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Life expectancy has been increasing over time and we want to ensure these are years in good health rather than increasing years in poor health. There has mainly been good news for those living with long term health conditions. With better treatment, prevention and care, the proportion of remaining years lived disability-free has increased for more recent generations.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Improvements have occurred unequally for people with different health conditions. Although those with physical health conditions experienced improvements in disability-free life expectancy, more recent generations with cognitive impairment spend a greater proportion of remaining years with disability.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Cognitive impairment was the only mental health condition we considered in this study, it may be interesting to look at how disability-free life expectancy is changing over time for people with other mental health conditions. We also could not consider mild and severe cognitive impairment separately, the changes we saw in disability-free life expectancy may differ between these groups.
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: For those with many of the physical health conditions more recent generations were less likely to die or develop disability or more likely to recover from disability. More recent generations with cognitive impairment did not experience these improvements.
Holly Q. Bennett, Andrew Kingston, Ilianna Lourida, Louise Robinson, Lynne Corner, Carol Brayne, Fiona E. Matthews, Carol Jagger. A comparison over 2 decades of disability-free life expectancy at age 65 years for those with long-term conditions in England: Analysis of the 2 longitudinal Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies. PLOS Medicine, 2022; 19 (3): e1003936 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003936
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