Baby boomers in the United States are more likely than the previous generation to have a disability as they near late-life, suggest a growing number of researchers. One new study found that baby boomers (ages 49 to 67 in 2013) are living longer than people roughly 20 years older, but are not healthier. While they are less likely to smoke, have emphysema, or a heart attack, they are more likely to be obese, have diabetes, or high blood pressure than the previous generation at similar ages. Another recent study documented rising disability levels among middle-age Americans (ages 40 to 64, a group that included most baby boomers) in recent years. The analysis identified a link between trends in obesity and disability, according to Linda Martin, a RAND Corporation demographer and lead author of the study. And a study in a recent issue of the journal Demography–synthesizing the results of five national surveys—found increasing disability among those ages 55 to 64 between 2000 and 2008 (a group that included the oldest baby boomers). By contrast, disability levels continued to decline among the oldest Americans (ages 85 and older) and held steady among the elderly ages 65 to 84 during the same period, reported Vicki Freedman, a University of Michigan demographer and lead author. "Troubling," is what Martin, who has long tracked disability patterns, called the trends. "These are the members of our future older population."
Source/more: Population Reference Bureau