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Epidemiological, demographic, and social correlates of disability among the elderly

The Milbank Quarterly

Author: Manton, K. G.
Type: Journal Article
Year: 1989


The characteristics of the institutionalized & community-based chronically disabled elderly are compared based on 1984/85 national survey data. In projecting present & future disability patterns for the elderly by number, age, sex, marital status, disability level, & institutional status, significant growth of the disabled population is expected. Assuming that an intervention program is established to affect general health status in advanced age, these projects show that mortality can be extended & that expected growth in population can be reduced with early intervention among the disabled. Specific projects indicate that 50% of future total disability is related to two chronic degenerative conditions; thus, elimination or modification of these diseases would prevent increases in the disabled population. Targeted biomedical & public health efforts are already in place for such intervention. The impact of the changing configuration of the disabled population on personal care, equipment, & acute & long-term care health services is addressed. It is concluded that while medical advances allow physical & mental functions to be maintained later into life & at higher levels than previously possible, so that loss of function is no longer a natural consequence of aging, the increase in number & needs of the disabled elderly population in the twenty-first century still should be addressed now.

Further Details

Full Title: The Milbank Quarterly
Pages: 13-58
Volume: 2
Issue: 1
Accession Number: 22.5.03
Research Notes: Electronic copy added 19/08/2013
Keywords: oldermobilitydisabledhealth improvement
Reads: 221