10/10/2019 feature story
"Women may be living longer but not healthier lives than men," says Eileen Crimmins of the University of Southern California. Her team examined life expectancy and disability rates in the 40-year period from 1970 to 2010. Their analysis of U.S. vital statistics shows that both men and women saw lifespan increases, but women are spending a larger share of the additional years with a disability than men. Other researchers see similar patterns. "Just a few decades ago, older women used to spend more time in their later years functioning independently than men-without needing help taking care of themselves or managing basic household activities," says Vicki Freedman of the University of Michigan. Her research team examined data on disability trends among U.S. Medicare enrollees from 1982, 2004, and 2011.