Next-generation seniors set to be less healthy than current seniors, with 55 percent growth in diabetes, 25 percent increase in obesity compared to levels of 15 years ago
Current seniors have better health status than three years ago, with progress made in the number of home health care workers, and preventable hospitalizations
Yet, challenges remain, including a nearly 9 percent increase in the rate of obesity and 5 percent increase in food insecurity among today's seniors
Report finds Massachusetts replaces Vermont as healthiest state for seniors; Louisiana remains least healthy state for seniors
Increasing rates of diabetes and obesity among middle-aged Americans (50-64 years old), coupled with the massive growth in the senior population over the next 15 years, are likely to significantly affect the health and quality of life for the next generation of seniors, according to some of the key findings of the 2016 United Health Foundation's America's Health Rankings Senior Report.
The report compares the health of middle-aged Americans in 2014 to middle-aged Americans in 1999 and details broad health concerns for the next generation of older Americans, as well as the potential for strain on the Medicare program and the overall health care system. Among the key findings for the next generation of seniors:
Thereport shows the current generation of American seniors has better health status than it had just three years ago, but faces serious challenges due to increased obesity and poor nutrition. Specifically, the report finds:
Massachusetts is the healthiest state for seniors, rising from sixth place last year, while Louisiana again ranks as the least healthy state for older adults, according to the newest report. Among rankings, the report found:
"As a geriatrician, I see certain health conditions 'snowball' as people age – that is, smaller problems in middle-age can get much larger and more complicated, affecting overall health much more as we age," said Rhonda Randall, D.O., senior adviser to United Health Foundation, and chief medical officer and executive vice president, UnitedHealthcare Retiree Solutions. "The America's Health Rankings Senior Report is a call to action, particularly as we look at the data for the next generation of seniors. We must work together – across states, communities and the public health sector – to find ways to continue improving delivery of care to seniors and encourage wellness and health among both current and future seniors."
To read the report and other materials, including visual illustrations, visit: www.americashealthrankings.org/reports/Senior.
America's Health Rankings Senior Report offers a comprehensive analysis of senior population health on a national and state-by-state basis across 35 measures of senior health. In commissioning the report, United Health Foundation seeks to promote discussion around the health of older Americans while driving communities, governments, stakeholders and individuals to take action to improve senior health.
Researchers draw data from more than a dozen government agencies and leading research organizations to create a focused, uniquely rich dataset for measuring senior health at the state level, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Labor, The Dartmouth Atlas Project, the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger and the Commonwealth Fund.
United Health Foundation also produces the annual America's Health Rankings report and has recently expanded its reporting series to include a number of spotlight reports focused on important markers of the nation's health, including impacts of unhealthy living, substance abuse and mental health. America's Health Rankings is also releasing two new population reports this year that examine the health of mothers and children and the health of those who have served our country. For more information, visit www.americashealthrankings.org.
Through collaboration with community partners, grants and outreach efforts, United Health Foundation works to improve our health system, build a diverse and dynamic health workforce and enhance the well-being of local communities. United Health Foundation was established by UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) in 1999 as a not-for-profit, private foundation dedicated to improving health and health care. To date, United Health Foundation has committed more than $285 million to programs and communities around the world. We invite you to learn more at www.unitedhealthfoundation.org.