This Daily Mail posted an article on aging and disability, excerpted below, that could have been improved by the use of the concept, “healthspan.”
We all understand “lifespan,” its the hyphen on our gravestones, its the time that separates birth and death.
Healthspan is the portion of our lifespan that we spending enjoying good health.
Ideally, public policy and our health care system combine to extend both lifespan and healthspan. Just imagine if we all died instantly on our third bungee jump of the day— while celebrating our 103rd birthday.
In contrast, when average lifespans go up and average healthspans go down we set the stage for a public health nightmare.
Here’s the data.
Figures show life expectancy is rising but that in return people born now will have to cope with disability or a long-term illness for an extra year compared with those born 30 years ago.
The gender gap is also closing, with women losing their traditional advantage in having better health for longer as they enjoy greater life expectancy.
Researchers predict that men born in 2007 will have an average 13.7 years of disability in their life, compared with 12.8 years for those born in 1981. For women, the figures are 17.1 years and 16 years.
Men born in 2007 are likely to spend an even greater proportion of their life in poor health, 8.7 years compared with 6.4 years in 1981.
Women today spend 11 years in poor health compared with 10 years in 1981, according to figures from the Office of National Statistics.
Read more here.