78 Million Baby Boomers Living Longer But Not Healthier

First Posted: Feb 05, 2013 04:49 PM EST

With today's medical advance, we are making huge headway in the health care field, and with those advances, individuals are living longer. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that those individuals are any healthier.

The Nation's 78 million baby boomers are in worse health than those that came before, according to reports. 

Researchers from West Virginia University School of Medicine and the Medical University of South Carolina knew that Americans life expectancy has been steadily improving, but wondered if they were any healthier than their parents or just benefiting from better medical treatments.

Unfortunately, when comparing two sets of responses from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, or NHANES, baby boomers were not as healthy as their elders. Those between the ages of 46 and 64 took the survey between 2007 and 2010. Their elders also took the same survey at approximately the same age between the years of 1988 and 1994. 

Unfortunately, statistics showed that boomers were more likely to have high blood pressure (43 to 36.4 percent), high cholesterol (73.5 to 33.8 percent) and diabetes (15.5 to 12 percent). And a full 38.7 percent of the boomers surveyed were obese compared with the 29.4 percent of their elders, and they were also at a slightly higher rate for cancer (10.6 to 9.5).

Seven percent of the boomers were also using some sort of walking assist device, 13.5 had a functional limitation and 13.8 were limited at work, with much smaller numbers for the older generation. Life style factors also showed that boomers had a more sedentary lifestyle than previous generations. Moderate drinking was also twice as common, according to some studies.

While boomers did smoke less than the older generations, they still have a lot of work to do catching up to their elders. 

More information about the study can be found at the Jama Internal Medicine.

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