Archive for the 'Aging' Category

A Strong Sense of Purpose Can Extend Life

By: Robert Preidt
Source: U.S. News & World Report (HealthDay News)

FRIDAY, Nov. 7, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Another study finds that having a sense of meaning and purpose in your life might do more than just give you focus — it might help you live longer, too.

The study, involving more than 9,000 British people averaging 65 years of age, found that those who professed to feeling worthwhile and having a sense of purpose in life were less likely to die during the more than eight years the researchers tracked them.

Over the study period, 9 percent of people with the highest levels of this type of well-being died, compared with 29 percent of those with the lowest levels, according to the report in the Nov. 7 issue of The Lancet.

The study comes on the heels of similar research published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In that study, a team led by Eric Kim of the University of Michigan found that older adults with a strong sense of purpose in life may be particularly likely to get health screenings such as colonoscopies and mammograms.

U.S. News & World Report story
Eric Kim’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences article
Lancet article (in press)

You’ll live longer than you think you will [HRS data]

Recent research based on an original question in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS) shows how few folks felt they would live to 75 (at age 50). There is also an association with the low probability folks dying earlier than the high probability folks.

Popular press coverage and a Brookings publication below:

You’ll probably live much longer than you think you will
Christopher Ingraham | Washington Post [Wonkblog]
November 10, 2014

Better Financial Security in Retirement? Realizing the Promise of Longevity Annuities
Katharine Abraham and Benjamin Harris | Brookings
November 6, 2014
Abstract | Full Paper

The Aging of Student Debt

Student-Loan Debt Skyrockets for Elderly, Government Report Says
By Max Lewontin
Source: Chronicle of Higher Education

People over 65 make up a small percentage of borrowers with student loans, but the amount of debt held by older Americans has increased sixfold in less than a decade. Those borrowers held $2.8-billion in student-loan debt in 2005 and $18.2-billion in 2013, according to a report released on Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office.

Read the full article
GAO Report Highlights; download PDF

PRB Interview with Doug Wolf on Late-Life Disability and Long-Term Care

From the website:

(June 2014) Douglas Wolf discussed disability and long-term care policy in the U.S. with Marlene Lee, PRB program director for Academic Research and Relations. Wolf is the Gerald B. Cramer Professor of Aging Studies in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and director of the Center for Aging & Policy Research at Syracuse University.

View the video

NIH adds substantial set of genetic, health information to online database

Researchers will now have access to genetic data linked to medical information on a diverse group of more than 78,000 people, enabling investigations into many diseases and conditions. The data, from one of the nation’s largest and most diverse genomics projects — Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging (GERA) — have just been made available to qualified researchers through the database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP), an online genetics database of the National Institutes of Health.

Details can found here.

Population ageing: the timebomb that isn’t?

In the November 12, 2013 issue of the British Medical Journal “Jeroen Spijker and John MacInnes argue that current measures of population ageing are misleading and that the numbers of dependent older people in the UK and other countries have actually been falling in recent years.”

Read the full text here.

Elderly Immigrants in the United States

From the publication website:

In 2010, more than one in eight U.S. adults ages 65 and older were foreign-born, a share that is expected to continue to grow. The U.S. elderly immigrant population rose from 2.7 million in 1990 to 4.6 million in 2010, a 70 percent increase in 20 years (see figure). This issue of Today’s Research on Aging reviews recent research examining older immigrants in the United States, conducted by National Institute on Aging (NIA)-supported researchers and others. Understanding both the unique characteristics of elderly foreign-born adults and the challenges some of them face is important as policymakers and planners address the well-being and health of the United States’ aging population.

The U.S. Foreign-Born Population Ages 65+ Increased Substantially Between 1990 and 2010.

graph depicting U.S. foreign born population
Source: U.S. Census Bureau, historical census data 1950-2000; and Current Population Survey, 2010.

Download the full report (PDF)

Conference: Aging in America

The 2014 Annual Conference of the American Society on Aging will be March 11-15 in San Diego, CA. Visit the website for more information.

View the announcement online. Or download a PDF.

The 2014 Steven H. Sandell Grant Program

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College announces the 2014 Steven H. Sandell Grant Program for research on retirement income and policy, funded by the U.S. Social Security Administration. Priority areas include:

  • Social Security
  • Macroeconomic analyses of Social Security
  • Wealth and retirement income
  • Program interactions
  • International research
  • Demographic research

Grant Awards

Up to two grants of $45,000 will be awarded based upon the quality of the applicant’s proposal and his or her proposed budget. Applicants are required to complete the research outlined in the proposal within one year of the award. A select group of grant winners will be required to present their work to the Social Security Administration in Washington, DC or Baltimore.

Submission

The submission deadline for the 2014 Sandell Grant Program is February 14, 2013. Download this year’s proposal guidelines and budget matrix.

Previous Awardees include Lauren Hersch Nicholas.

See the website for more information or to submit an application.

Medical Spending and Morbidity Compression

Evidence for Significant Compression of Morbidity In the Elderly U.S. Population
D. Cutler, K. Ghosh, and M. Landrum | NBER
July 2013
Using what is becoming a go-to-resource for health economists, Cutler, et.al., use data from the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey to examine how health is changing by time period until death. On average, they find evidence for compression of morbidity, which would help contain health-care spending. But, they do not imply that decadents lived a disease-free period up until death.