Rising Rates of Disability Among Older Adults

February 18, 2010
Drug Benefit Trends, Drug Benefit Trends Vol 22 No 1, Volume 22, Issue 1

A recent study has shown that rates of disability may be rising among noninstitutionalized adults 65 years and older in the United States.1 “People are living longer, but many are also living sicker,” said Amani Nuru-Jeter, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of community health and human development at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, and coauthor of the study.

A recent study has shown that rates of disability may be rising among noninstitutionalized adults 65 years and older in the United States.1 “People are living longer, but many are also living sicker,” said Amani Nuru-Jeter, PhD, MPH, assistant professor of community health and human development at the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, and coauthor of the study.

To determine rates of basic activities of daily living disabilities and functional limitations, Nuru-Jeter’s team analyzed data from the American Community Survey and the National Nursing Home Survey. Between 2000 and 2005, there was a 9% increase in the number of respondents who reported difficulty with daily activities, such as dressing and bathing, because of a health problem that had lasted for at least 6 months. “This study is providing an early warning sign that the decline in disability rates we’ve been hearing about might be ending,” said Nuru-Jeter.

References:

Reference
1. Fuller-Thomson E, Yu B, Nuru-Jeter A, et al. Basic ADL disability and functional limitation rates among older Americans from 2000-2005: the end of the decline? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009;64:1333-1336.

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