Better Data Reveal Brighter Future
Cohen, Gene D., Aging Today
Besides improved health, productivity and other primary factors pointing to a brighter future than the fiscal doomsayers depict for the aging American future, additional data present an even rosier potential for tomorrow. Following are some additional positive aspects of societal longevity:
Education levels: Other research has shown that education levels are associated with improved health and active life expectancy. Jack Guralnik of the National Institutes of Health showed in the early 1990s that at age 65, those with 12 or more years of education had an active Ufe expectancy that was 2.4 to 3.9 years longer than that of people with less education." Moreover, federal data on education levels among older adults indicate a significant ongoing rise in the percentage of those with a high school diploma (23.5% in 1965 vs. 73.1% in 2004). In 1965, 5% of those at least age 65 had a bachelor's degree or more - a figure that jumped to 18.7% in 2004, according to the federal government's interagency report Older Americans: Key Indicators of Well-Being (available at http://agingstats.gov/Agingstatsdot net/Main_Site/Data/20o6_Documents/0 A_2006.pdf).
Geriatric medicine: In the United States, board certification in geriatric medicine dates back only to 1992. Specialization in geriatrics has had a noticeably positive effect on improved health with aging. The field is poised to make increasingly important contributions in the decades to come, especially with improved support for geriatric training, which is currently funded at appallingly low levels. …