Trends in the health of the elderly

Annu Rev Public Health. 2004;25:79-98. doi: 10.1146/annurev.publhealth.25.102802.124401.


Health among the older population as measured by most dimensions has improved during the last two decades. Mortality has continued to decline, and disability and functioning loss are less common now than in the past. However, the prevalence of most diseases has increased in the older population as people survive longer with disease, and the reduction in incidence does not counter the effect of increased survival. On the other hand, having a disease appears to be less disabling than in the past.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy / trends*
  • Morbidity / trends*
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Population Dynamics*