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 Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>