The twentieth century rise in life expectancy is undoubtedly one of the great successes of public health, but in combination with low fertility rates has also contributed importantly to the aging of populations. Population ageing poses great challenges and there is an urgent need for strategies to be developed that will help to alleviate its societal consequences. The proposed work focuses on one promising approach: achieving a ‘compression of morbidity’, or a reduction of the number of years spent in ill health. For a given level of life expectancy, a ‘compression of morbidity’ into a smaller number of years at the end of life would enable people to stay at work for a longer period of time, and also to care for themselves at advanced ages. In this chapter we investigated the progress of self-rated health over the life course in two well characterised population based representative British birth cohorts. The evolution of self-rated health over time differed between the two cohorts, both with respect to the shape of change over time as well as the average level of reported self-rated health. In the earlier born 1958 cohort self-rated health exhibited an almost linear trend with increasingly worse self-rated health being reported by both men and women as they moved from early adulthood to early old age. A different pattern was observed in the later born 1970 cohort, where the average level of self-ratted health remained stable up to age 34, but steadily declined from age 38 onwards in both men and women. In both men and women, the two cohorts reported similar level of self-rated health in early adulthood, but the trend diverged at age 42, where the 1970 cohort reported their health being significantly worse. Our observation of similar up to age 34 and then worse average self-rated health in the 1970 cohort increases the likelihood of expansion of morbidity, assuming that the observed difference as well as the lower mortality rates in the 1970 cohort will persist in the future.

Self-rated health over the life course: evidence from the 1958 and 1970 British birth cohorts

Pongiglione, Benedetta
2019-01-01

Abstract

The twentieth century rise in life expectancy is undoubtedly one of the great successes of public health, but in combination with low fertility rates has also contributed importantly to the aging of populations. Population ageing poses great challenges and there is an urgent need for strategies to be developed that will help to alleviate its societal consequences. The proposed work focuses on one promising approach: achieving a ‘compression of morbidity’, or a reduction of the number of years spent in ill health. For a given level of life expectancy, a ‘compression of morbidity’ into a smaller number of years at the end of life would enable people to stay at work for a longer period of time, and also to care for themselves at advanced ages. In this chapter we investigated the progress of self-rated health over the life course in two well characterised population based representative British birth cohorts. The evolution of self-rated health over time differed between the two cohorts, both with respect to the shape of change over time as well as the average level of reported self-rated health. In the earlier born 1958 cohort self-rated health exhibited an almost linear trend with increasingly worse self-rated health being reported by both men and women as they moved from early adulthood to early old age. A different pattern was observed in the later born 1970 cohort, where the average level of self-ratted health remained stable up to age 34, but steadily declined from age 38 onwards in both men and women. In both men and women, the two cohorts reported similar level of self-rated health in early adulthood, but the trend diverged at age 42, where the 1970 cohort reported their health being significantly worse. Our observation of similar up to age 34 and then worse average self-rated health in the 1970 cohort increases the likelihood of expansion of morbidity, assuming that the observed difference as well as the lower mortality rates in the 1970 cohort will persist in the future.
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Pathways to health
Ploubidis, George B.; Pongiglione, Benedetta
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11565/4053249
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