Trends in morbidity, healthy life expectancy, and the compression of morbidity

TitleTrends in morbidity, healthy life expectancy, and the compression of morbidity
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsCrimmins, EM, Zhang, YS, Kim, JKi, Levine, ME
EditorMusi, N, Hornsby, PJ
Book TitleHandbook of the Biology of Aging (Ninth Edition)Handbooks of Aging
PublisherAcademic Press
ISBN Number978-0-12-815962-0
Keywordscompression of morbidity, health trends, Healthy life expectancy, Morbidity

This chapter lays out the dimensions of morbidity and the processes linking morbidity and mortality. It provides evidence of recent trends in morbidity of the older American population: decline in some types of disability but not others, disease, and physiological dysregulation among the older American population. In addition, the chapter uses data from two recent cohorts to look at survival without disease and the age at onset of diseases. We have generally seen an increase in the prevalence and time with disease; but disease appears less disabling now than in the past. In addition, the onset of myocardial infarction appears to have been delayed by the recent control of biological risk. Most of the evidence does not support the idea that we have experienced a recent compression of morbidity; it does support some delay and retarding of progression of the morbidity process.

Citation Key11409