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Increase in disability-free life expectancy


Key points from article :

Difference in life expectancy for a 65-year-old:

1992: 17.5 years with 8.9 years free from disability

2008: 18.8 years with 10.7 years free from disability

Mainly due to improvements in cardio-vascular health and declines in vision problems.

As much as half of the improvement is because of medical care, especially statin drug treatment.

Improvement in vision health almost entirely down to improvement and availability of cataract surgery.

COMMENT: this goes against the general thinking that healthspan wouldn’t increase as fast as lifespan

Mentioned in this article:

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Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard University.


Private Ivy League research university in Massachusetts


Professor of Health Care Policy at Harvard Medical School.


Professor of Health Policy at Harvard Medical School.


American private nonprofit research organization.