Struggling with multiple chronic illnesses shortens life expectancy dramatically, and for older Americans, it threatens to reverse recent gains in average lifespans.
Nearly four in five older Americans now live with multiple chronic medical conditions, which perhaps could explain why increases in life expectancy for US seniors are already slowing, report researchers.
“Living with multiple chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, and heart failure is now the norm and not the exception in the United States,” says lead author Eva H. DuGoff, a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“The medical advances that have allowed sick people to live longer may not be able to keep up with the growing burden of chronic disease. It is becoming very clear that preventing the development of additional chronic conditions in the elderly could be the only way to continue to improve life expectancy.”
Life expectancy in the US is rising more slowly than in other parts of the developed world. Many blame the obesity epidemic and related health conditions for the worsening health of the American population.
(From Futurity.org - Source: Johns Hopkins University)