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Sociodemographic Characteristics of Long-Lived and Healthy Individuals

Richard G. Rogers
Population and Development Review
Vol. 21, No. 1 (Mar., 1995), pp. 33-58
Published by: Population Council
DOI: 10.2307/2137412
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2137412
Page Count: 26
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Sociodemographic Characteristics of Long-Lived and Healthy Individuals
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Abstract

Most mortality studies have explored the characteristics that contribute to early death. This article instead examines factors that lead to longer lives, to determine whether healthy practices contribute years of life synergistically, additively, or partially, and to show age and sex differences in cause-specific mortality. The results indicate that life expectancies in the United States for healthy agers approach 83 years for males and 93 for females. Even among healthy agers a large sex gap in mortality persists. These life expectancies and, concomitantly, specific causes of death are affected by demographic, socioeconomic, and health factors, especially by functional status. How adeptly we eliminate or reduce disability and disease and improve self-perceived health status determines the length and quality of life.

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