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Trends

Trends In Disability And Related Chronic Conditions Among People Ages Fifty To Sixty-Four

Affiliations
  1. Linda G. Martin ( [email protected] ) is a senior fellow at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, Virginia, and an adjunct professor in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
  2. Vicki A. Freedman is a research professor in the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor.
  3. Robert F. Schoeni is a research professor in the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.
  4. Patricia M. Andreski is a research associate in the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan.
PUBLISHED:No Accesshttps://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.2008.0746

Although still below 2 percent, the proportion of people ages 50–64 who reported needing help with personal care activities increased significantly from 1997 to 2007. The proportions needing help with routine household chores and indicating difficulty with physical functions were stable. These patterns contrast with reported declines in disability among the population age sixty-five and older. Particularly concerning among those ages 50—64 are significant increases in limitations in specific mobility-related activities, such as getting into and out of bed. Musculoskeletal conditions remained the most commonly cited causes of disability at these ages. There were also substantial increases in the attribution of disability to depression, diabetes, and nervous system conditions for this age group.

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