Scientists from the University of Toronto found that the prevalence of disability among older Americans has dropped dramatically compared to the previous decade. The study is published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health .
The researchers analyzed data from more than 5.4 million Americans aged 65 and older. They found that restrictions in daily activities among the elderly (the ability to get dressed or take a shower) in 2017 began to occur 18% less than in 2008. This means that more than a million older Americans have avoided a dramatic decline in their quality of life.
The improvement is especially noticeable among women. After adjusting for age and race, women’s chances of encountering restrictions in their daily lives decreased by 20%, and men’s by 13%.
Scientists noted that the reasons for this difference between the sexes are not yet fully understood, but previous studies have shown that women are more likely than men to undergo annual examinations and take preventive measures.
Interestingly, the decline in disability risk was slower among baby boomers. The authors of the paper suggest that this may be due to the higher prevalence of obesity among baby boomers compared to the pre-war generation.