Living Longer in Good Health

Unfortunately, health does not generally improve with age.  Life expectancy is generally increasing around the world, which is good. But, it would be better if “healthy life expectancy” (the years we spend in good health as we get older) increased too. 

Carol Jagger, AXA Professor of Epidemiology of Ageing at Newcastle University in the UK is studying the factors that could help us live both longer and healthier. We have a certain amount of control over some of these factors – for example, having an upbeat attitude to life, eating better and exercising more. Some others, of course, are not always in our hands – examples here include socioeconomic factors like education and wealth. In a recent article in Scientific American, Professor Jagger described how studying healthy life expectancy, as opposed to just life expectancy itself, is an important field of study.

She answers how her research has shown some important differences between men and women when it comes to healthy life expectancy and whether cognitive and physical disability related as we get older. The role a person’s education play in their healthy life expectancy is also discussed.

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