Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

In aging, one size does not fit all

15.12.2015

New research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) provides a suite of measurements that could replace conventional measures of age, supporting smarter policies for retirement and health care.

Conventional measures of age usually define people as “old” at one chronological age, often 65. In many countries around the world, age 65 is used as a cutoff for everything from pension age to health care systems, as the basis of a demographic measure known as the “old-age dependency ratio,” which defines everyone over 65 as depending on the population between ages 20 and 65.


© Silent 47 Images | Dreamstime.com

In new study in the journal Population and Development Review, IIASA researchers Warren Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov provide new measures to replace the old-age dependency ratio.

“There are better measures available for every aspect of population aging to which it is applied,” says Sanderson. “Aging is a suite of multidimensional phenomena. In this study we deal with a number of aspects of aging and show that better measures exist for all of them.”

Previous research by the team [ www.reaging.org ]has shown that defining people as “old” at age 65 no longer fits the real-world data, as people live longer, healthier lives around the world. The new study pulls together a collection of demographic methods that replace the old-age dependency ratio for a variety of purposes, providing more useful information for policymakers as well as demographic research.

For example, health care costs on average increase significantly for people in their last few years of life. Yet as people live longer, those last few years come later and later, and people may stay healthy well into their 60s and 70s. When projections of future health care costs use age 65 as the cutoff, they may massively overestimate future costs to a health care system. The new study therefore proposes a health-care specific calculation that takes into account the postponement of deaths that occur because of the increase in life expectancy.

The old-age dependency ratio is also based in part on traditional retirement age being around 65. But today, a growing number of people over 65 are still working, and in response to increased life expectancy, many countries have begun increasing their public pension ages. Yet increasing pension ages can be unfair to younger generations, who may work longer and get less retirement money than previous generations.

The study includes a new proposal for an “intergenerationally equitable pension age,” in which each generation receives as much in pension payouts as they pay in, the average pension as a percentage of salary is the same for all generations, and the pension tax remains the same.

“There are many policy issues for which good estimates of the future consequences of aging are needed,” says Scherbov. “In some instances, the large exaggerations in the extent of aging produced by the conventional measures could lead to inappropriate policies.”

Further information and details on the new measures are available at: www.reaging.org/indicators

Reference
Sanderson W, Scherbov S (2015). Are we overly dependent on conventional dependency ratios? Population and Development Review. 41(4): 687–708. 15 December 2015. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1728-4457.2015.00091.x/abstract

MSc Katherine Leitzell | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.iiasa.ac.at

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht UC San Diego researchers develop sensors to detect and measure cancer's ability to spread
06.12.2018 | University of California - San Diego

nachricht New cancer immunotherapy approach turns immune cells into tiny anti-tumor drug factories
05.12.2018 | University of California - San Diego

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: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

Inaugural "Virtual World Tour" scheduled for december

28.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new molecular player involved in T cell activation

07.12.2018 | Life Sciences

High-temperature electronics? That's hot

07.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Supercomputers without waste heat

07.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>