Disease Proof

Baby Boomer Health Problems

For as long as I can remember I’ve heard people talk about the impending wave of destruction aging Baby Boomers will bring upon this country. I never paid it much attention, but maybe the critics are onto something. According to Gary Rotstein of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Baby Boomers are now encountering lots of health problems, for lots of reasons:
Studying data from the U.S. Health and Retirement Study, she and her colleagues found that people in their early to mid-50s were reporting more health problems than people that age had described previously.


Significantly, fewer such middle-aged people in 2004 than in 1992 rated their health highly. More of them rated pain as a regular problem. And a higher percentage had trouble climbing stairs or walking a few blocks…

… Dr. Richard Suzman, director of the National Institute on Aging Behavioral and Social Research Program, said most news about today's older adults has bred optimism that the 78 million baby boomers approaching old age won't overwhelm the health care system. He wants to see more research before making any assumption that such a huge population is either worse now, or will be worse in the future, than projected.

"If it's true, it's pretty important," he said.

He and others speculated that if there's actual health decline, obesity is a top suspect. Carrying excess weight contributes to the likelihood of diabetes and other disease, as well as to creating lethargy that can affect how people rate their health.
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