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Americans living longer, enjoying greater health and prosperity, but important disparities remain
Date:3/27/2008

Average life expectancy continues to increase, and todays older Americans enjoy better health and financial security than any previous generation. However, rates of gain are inconsistent between the genders and across age brackets, income levels and racial and ethnic groups. Some critical disparities also exist between older Americans and older people in other industrialized countries. These and other trends are reported in Older Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being, a unique, comprehensive look at aging in the United States from the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.

Older Americans 2008, the fourth chartbook prepared by the Forum since 2000, provides an updated, accessible compendium of indicators, drawn from the most reliable official statistics about the well-being of Americans primarily age 65 and over. The indicators are categorized into five broad areaspopulation, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors and health care. The 160-page report contains data on 38 key indicatorsand a one-time special feature on health literacy.

The Foruma consortium representing 15 agencies with responsibilities for Federal data collection or aging programscollects, interprets and updates these data and makes them available to government agencies, policymakers, the media and the public.

This report comes at a critical time, according to Edward Sondik, Ph.D., director, National Center for Health Statistics. As the baby boomers age and Americas older population grows larger and more diverse, community leaders, policymakers and researchers have an even greater need for reliable data to understand where older Americans stand today and what they may face tomorrow.

The greatest generation made enormous gains in health and financial security, although the gains were not shared equally, says Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral and Social Research Program at the National Institute on Aging, p
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Contact: Vicky Cahan
nianews3@mail.nih.gov
301-496-1752
NIH/National Institute on Aging
Source:Eurekalert

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