Navigation Links
Disability may be on the rise again after 20-year decline
Date:12/22/2009

Berkeley Disability rates among non-institutionalized older Americans increased between 2000 and 2005, a trend that could seriously impact the quality of life of seniors in the coming decades if it continues, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of California, Berkeley.

The findings are troubling, said the authors, because they suggest that the steady decline since the 1980s of disability rates among older adults may have ended. Adding to the concern is the expected doubling between 2000 and 2030 of the number of Americans over 65 as the Baby Boom generation continues to age.

"The combination of increasing disability rates plus a growing population of older adults emphasizes the importance of prevention of the many chronic conditions giving rise to disability in the first place," said the study's lead author, Esme Fuller-Thomson, professor of social work at the University of Toronto. "There is evidence, for example, that the doubling of obesity rates over the last three decades may be linked to rising disability in older people, yet the obesity problem is largely preventable."

The study, appearing in the December issue of the Journals of Gerontology, reflects a 9 percent increase over five years in non-institutionalized adults 65 and over reporting difficulty in basic activities of daily living. Those functions include dressing, bathing and in-home mobility due to a physical, mental or emotional condition lasting six months or more.

"People are living longer, but many are also living sicker," said study co-author Amani Nuru-Jeter, assistant professor of community health and human development at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health. "This study is providing an early warning sign that the decline in disability rates we've been hearing about might be ending."

The authors pointed to the potential to stem the increase in disability rates if health care reform passes.

"About two-thirds of Medicaid spending and over a third of Medicare spending are associated with disability, so any increase in costs due to increased disability is a federal liability," added Nuru-Jeter. "If we do nothing, those costs will grow as more middle-aged adults develop diseases that lead to disability because they lack preventive services or are uninsured. If we cover all children and adults, we are likely to slow or even reverse this trend."

Most of the people in this study were 65 and over and hence already covered by Medicare or Medicaid.

"The prevention of disability could get a big boost if health care reform passes and retains its strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention," said Meredith Minkler, professor of health and social behavior at UC Berkeley's School of Public Health and another co-author of the study.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on health care legislation this week. If it passes, it will need to be reconciled with the health reform bill passed last month by the U.S. House of Representatives before being sent to President Barack Obama for his signature.

"The Senate health care reform bill, as it now stands, provides coverage for a range of evidence-based prevention services, with no cost sharing by individuals," said Minkler. "Since disability rates are highest in the poor, providing prevention and screening services without copayments and deductibles could encourage more of those most vulnerable to disability-related problems to seek the help they need, reducing costs down the line."

The study was based upon 2000-2005 data from the American Community Survey, which was conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of households responding to the annual survey ranged from half a million to nearly two million.

The researchers said the rise in disability among those living in the community could be partially attributed to the decrease in elderly adults living in nursing homes. The American Community Survey did not include those living in group homes.

"People are less likely to go to a nursing home compared to 20 years ago," said Fuller-Thomson. "Today, there are more options, such that only those with the most serious physical health problems, and lack of alternatives, go to long-term care facilities."

"Other studies need to be conducted to confirm our findings of an increase, but what does seem evident is that the 20-year decline in disability rates may be ending," said Fuller-Thomson.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Yang
scyang@berkeley.edu
510-643-7741
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. One-Fourth of U.S. Adult Health Care Expenditures Associated With Disability
2. National Council on Disability to Hold Houston Meeting to Hear Issues Affecting People With Disabilities
3. Samuelson, Wilson & Roe Sues Covidien for Alleged Disability Discrimination
4. Disability Firm Advocates for Valley's Needy Families
5. Delinquent boys at increased risk of premature death and disability by middle age
6. New Disability Income Insurance Options Provide More Choice for Californias Small Business Owners
7. GettingHired Announces Additional Funding for Continued Growth as Well as R&D of New Product for Long Term Disability and Workers Comp.
8. Residential design for persons with neurological disability
9. VA and DoD Announce Disability Evaluation System Pilot Expansion
10. MS is more aggressive in children but slower to cause disability than in adults
11. WellPoints Affiliated Life and Disability Companies Offer Newborn and Parenting Resources to Ease New Mothers Transition Back to Work After Maternity Leave
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... patient advocates stress that the patient context (age, illness and life choices) should ... to mitigate their occurrence. In addition, all too often, studies regarding ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... chain management (SCM) and spend management, today announced that Keppel Corporation has selected ... simplify expense tracking. , “We are excited to announce the partnership between ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , ... February 22, 2017 , ... Author Michèle Wolff ... valuable for every household and family to know all about it for optimal health. ... with the release of “ Detox, Digestive and Wellness Solutions ” (published by Balboa ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... IL (PRWEB) , ... February 21, 2017 , ... ... connectivity solutions, has introduced five new hospital-grade power extension cords that meet the ... Services (CMS) of the 2012 edition of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... Doctors on Liens has announced the addition of ... , to its growing network of doctors in Central and Northern California. Dr. Mendonca ... such as whiplash, back pain, neck pain, hip and knee pain, and headaches. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... 22, 2017 Research and Markets has ... by Drug Molecule (Biologic, Small Molecule Drugs), By Route of ... Blockers) Outlook 2022" report to their offering. ... The global psoriasis ... 2016-2022 This report provides a detailed analysis of ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... -- Based on its recent analysis of the sleep ... Inc. with the 2017 European New Product Innovation ... intelligently addresses the root causes of sleep apnea ... proven continuous transmucosal electrical stimulation therapy. Because of ... the most accessible anti-snoring products available in the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... HAYWARD, Calif. , Feb. 22, 2017  Applied Silver, ... Sue Barnes to the company,s advisory board. Ms. Barnes ... total, joining business, advertising, engineering, legal, and healthcare experts ... , John Goodrich , J. Tress Ritter , ... RN, BSN, CIC, FAPIC brings more than three decades of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: