Abstract: We have yet to experience much compression of morbidity as the age of onset of most health problems has not increased markedly. In recent decades, there have been some reduction in the prevalence of physical disability and dementia. At the same time, the prevalence of disease has increased markedly, in large part due to treatment which extends life for those with disease. Compressing morbidity or increasing the relative healthspan will also require "delaying aging" or the physiological change that results in disease and disability.
Eileen Crimmins, PhD, is the AARP Professor of Gerontology in the Davis School of Gerontology at the University of Southern California. She also directs the USC/UCLA Center on Biodemography and Population Health, one of the Demography of Aging Centers supported by the U.S. National Institute on Aging. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the A.A.A.S., Dr. Crimmins's distinguished career as a demographer has been focused on aging and specifically on researching changes over time in health and mortality. She recently served as co-chair of a Committee for the National Academy of Sciences to address why life expectancy in the U.S. is falling so far behind that of other countries.
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