Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Growing old in good health: significant disparities between European countries

19.11.2008
Although life expectancy is constantly increasing in the countries of the European Union, living longer is not always synonymous with ageing well and knowing to what age a person will live in good health remains a very different question.

Jean-Marie Robine, Inserm research director, conducted research within the scope of the European Health Expectancy Monitoring Unit to answer this question. The study results show that men live on average without health problems up to an age of 67 years and women up to 69 years. However, significant disparities still persist between the countries of the European Union.

These new data are published in the November 17 edition of the The Lancet.

In 2005, the mean life expectancy in the European Union was 78 years for men and 83 years for women. In addition, an improvement in the quality of life of older people has become a major public health concern in industrialised countries. Past a certain age, health problems such as chronic diseases, cardiovascular disorders and problems of dementia become more frequent, etc. Although life expectancy has improved, the question of the number of additional years really lived in good health must still be asked. To answer this, Jean-Marie Robine and his team used an indicator based on the health status of men and women today aged over 50 years. This indicator consisted in asking the study subjects about their difficulties or not, for at least six months, in carrying out daily life activities (going to work, cooking, washing, etc.). The study results show that in Europe, men live on average without health problems up to an age of 67 years and women up to 69 years.

Nevertheless strong disparities exist between the various countries. For men, the lowest mean value was observed in Estonia where it was 59 years for men and 61 years for women. In Denmark, on the contrary this mean rose to 73 years for men and 74 years for women. France was very close to the European average, with figures of 68 years for men and 69 years and 8 months for women.

These results are correlated with the gross domestic product (GDP) of the various countries and the average health expenditure by the countries on older people. In general, high GDP and health expenditure were associated with better health of people over 50 years. In men only, long periods out of work (more than 12 months), few years at school and a low educational level were also responsible for fewer healthy life years.

The observed disparities were even greater when the last 10 countries to have integrated the European Union were studied separately. In most of these countries, the retirement age was greater or equal to the average age to which the people can hope to live without health problems. For the scientists, “without an improvement in the state of health of older people, it will be difficult to raise the retirement age in certain European Union countries”.

Séverine Ciancia | alfa
Further information:
http://www.inserm.fr/en/presse/communiques/robine_141108.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New proton record: Researchers measure magnetic moment with greatest possible precision

High-precision measurement of the g-factor eleven times more precise than before / Results indicate a strong similarity between protons and antiprotons

The magnetic moment of an individual proton is inconceivably small, but can still be quantified. The basis for undertaking this measurement was laid over ten...

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Lightning, with a chance of antimatter

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

A huge hydrogen generator at the Earth's core-mantle boundary

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Scientists find why CP El Niño is harder to predict than EP El Niño

24.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>