Are younger cohorts in the USA and England ageing better?

TitleAre younger cohorts in the USA and England ageing better?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
Authorsde la Fuente, J, Caballero, FFélix, Verdes, E, Rodríguez-Artalejo, F, Cabello, M, de la Torre-Luque, A, Sánchez-Niubó, A, J. Haro, M, Ayuso-Mateos, JL, Chatterji, S
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
ISSN Number14643685
KeywordsAged, Aging, Article, Cohort Analysis, cultural factor, Education, England, Englishman, Female, Health Status, Household, human, human experiment, human tissue, longitudinal study, major clinical study, Male, mental capacity, Retirement, theoretical study

BACKGROUND: Whether worldwide increases in life expectancy are accompanied by a better health status is still a debate. People age differently, and there is a need to disentangle whether healthy-ageing pathways can be shaped by cohort effects. This study aims to analyse trends in health status in two large nationally representative samples of older adults from England and the USA. METHODS: The sample comprised 55 684 participants from the first seven waves of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA), and the first 11 waves of the Health and Retirement Study (HRS). A common latent health score based on Bayesian multilevel item response theory was used. Two Bayesian mixed-effects multilevel models were used to assess cohort effects on health in ELSA and HRS separately, controlling for the effect of household wealth and educational attainment. RESULTS: Similar ageing trends were found in ELSA (β = -0.311; p < 0.001) and HRS (β = -0.393; p < 0.001). The level of education moderated the life-course effect on health in both ELSA (β = -0.082; p < 0.05) and HRS (β = -0.084; p < 0.05). A birth-year effect was found for those belonging to the highest quintiles of household wealth in both ELSA (β = 0.125; p < 0.001) and HRS (β = 0.170; p < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Health inequalities have increased in recent cohorts, with the wealthiest participants presenting a better health status in both the USA and English populations. Actions to promote health in the ageing population should consider the increasing inequality scenario, not only by applying highly effective interventions, but also by making them accessible to all members of society. © The Author(s) 2019; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.


cited By 0

Citation KeydelaFuente20191906