‘Healthspan’ increasing even for people with common chronic conditions

Journal Reference:

  1. Holly Q. Bennett, Andrew Kingston, Ilianna Lourida, Louise Robinson, Lynne Corner, Carol Brayne, Fiona E. Matthews, Carol Jagger. A comparison over 2 decades of disability-free life expectancy at age 65 years for those with long-term conditions in England: Analysis of the 2 longitudinal Cognitive Function and Ageing Studies. PLOS Medicine, 2022; 19 (3): e1003936 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1003936

There have been advances in healthcare over recent decades that mean many people with chronic health conditions are living longer. In the new study, researchers wanted to determine whether this extension to life involves an increase in years with or without disability. The team analyzed data from two large population-based studies of people aged 65 or over in England. The studies, the Cognitive Function and Aging Studies (CFAS I and II) involved baseline interviews with 7,635 people in 1991-1993 and with 7,762 people in 2008-2011, with two years of follow-up in each case.

For both healthy people and those with health conditions, the average years of disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) increased from 1991 to 2011. Overall, men gained 4.6 years in life expectancy (95% CI: 3.7 — 5.5 years, p

Between 1991 and 2011, women experienced an increase in life expectancy at age 65 years of 2.1 years (95% CI: 1.1- 3.0 years, p

“While these findings are mostly positive, we found an increase in the percentage of remaining years spent with disability for men and women with cognitive impairment. Given cognitive impairment was also the only long-term condition where prevalence decreased this is a cause for concern and requires further investigation,” the authors say.

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‘Healthspan’ increasing even for people with common chronic conditions

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