[How do the elderly feel actually? Contradictory research results indicate both improved and impaired health]

Lakartidningen. 2005 Oct 24-30;102(43):3119-24.
[Article in Swedish]


As expected life span increases, researchers are asking if the years added to life are healthy or characterized by illness and disability. The question of compression or expansion of morbidity is complex and entails numerous methodological challenges. International and Swedish health trends in elderly populations are reviewed. Differences in methods concerning sampling, time period and health indicators make comparisons difficult and can explain why studies have divergent results. Despite the differences, a general trend can be seen showing an increase in poor health during the late nineties. However, the trend is seen primarily in disease and functional limitations, but not disability. If this is the case and this trend continues, the future may bring less disability than would be expected according to today's calculations based on demographic development. But at the same time, demands for medical care may increase due to increases in chronic illnesses that can be managed but not cured.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging* / physiology
  • Aging* / psychology
  • Biomedical Research
  • Female
  • Health Status Indicators
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Life Expectancy / trends
  • Longevity
  • Male
  • Morbidity*
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life*
  • Research
  • Self Concept