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J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5(4), 440-451; doi:10.3390/jpm5040440

Sex, Race, and Age Differences in Observed Years of Life, Healthy Life, and Able Life among Older Adults in The Cardiovascular Health Study

1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
2
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Seattle, WA 98108, USA
3
Department of Biostatistics, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
4
Department of Health Services, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
5
Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA
6
Department of Medicine (Geriatrics) and the Aging Center, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27708, USA
7
Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Durham VA Medical Center, Durham, NC 27705, USA
8
Department of Epidemiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15260, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Stephen B. Liggett
Received: 1 May 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 18 November 2015 / Published: 25 November 2015
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Abstract

Objective: Longevity fails to account for health and functional status during aging. We sought to quantify differences in years of total life, years of healthy life, and years of able life among groups defined by age, sex, and race. Design: Primary analysis of a cohort study. Setting: 18 years of annual evaluations in four U.S. communities. Participants: 5888 men and women aged 65 and older. Measurements: Years of life were calculated as the time from enrollment to death or 18 years. Years of total, healthy, and able life were determined from self-report during annual or semi-annual contacts. Cumulative years were summed across each of the age and sex groups. Results: White women had the best outcomes for all three measures, followed by white men, non-white women, and non-white men. For example, at the mean age of 73, a white female participant could expect 12.9 years of life, 8.9 of healthy life and 9.5 of able life, while a non-white female could expect 12.6, 7.0, and 8.0 years, respectively. A white male could expect 11.2, 8.1, and 8.9 years of life, healthy life, and able life, and a non-white male 10.3, 6.2, and 7.9 years. Regardless of starting age, individuals of the same race and sex groups spent similar amounts (not proportions) of time in an unhealthy or unable state. Conclusion: Gender had a greater effect on longevity than did race, but race had a greater effect on years spent healthy or able. The mean number of years spent in an unable or sick state was surprisingly independent of the lifespan. View Full-Text
Keywords: able life; active life; healthy life; longevity; ADL able life; active life; healthy life; longevity; ADL
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MDPI and ACS Style

Thielke, S.M.; Diehr, P.H.; Yee, L.M.; Arnold, A.M.; Quiñones, A.R.; Whitson, H.E.; Jacob, M.E.; Newman, A.B. Sex, Race, and Age Differences in Observed Years of Life, Healthy Life, and Able Life among Older Adults in The Cardiovascular Health Study. J. Pers. Med. 2015, 5, 440-451.

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