Health at the Onset of Old Age

Arda Aktas , International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Sergei Scherbov, Wittgenstein Centre (IIASA, VID/ÖAW, WU) and International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Warren C. Sanderson, Stony Brook University, State University of New York (SUNY)

This study brings two important ageing-related characteristics, life expectancy and health, together under the framework of “Characteristic Approach” to create a dynamic age measure which we call ‘‘Prospective Health Age’’. Using a novel composite metric of health, we compare the health levels of different birth cohorts in ELSA and the HRS at the onset of old age which is defined based on fixed chronological age (i.e., conventional approach) and fixed years of remaining life expectancy (i.e., prospective approach). We show that people, at the prospective old age threshold, have roughly the same level of the health regardless of when they were born. Hence, we use the constant values of the health metrics to define “prospective health-age thresholds’’ which are the ages at which the average level of health in population subgroup equals those constant values. We show that there are significant disparities in health across educational categories, genders and countries.

See paper

 Presented in Session 182. Age Patterns of Mortality