Life expectancy is a good indicator that includes influences of lifestyle choices in nutrition and of social access to medical care. It also reflects inequalities in quality of life and most of all it is a good indicator to assess the health status of various social groups.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a study in the Journal Medical Care, which concluded that life expectancy decreases for older adults with multiple chronic conditions.
The study was conducted using a national sample of beneficiaries of Medicare starting from 2008, almost 1.4 milion older people over 67.
As an example to understand how multiple conditions affects a lifespan, a woman with no chronic condition at the age of 75 will live another 17.3 years, in comparison with a woman with five chronic conditions will have shorter life span, with only 12 years added to her life. The study also confirmed previous findings that white people lived longer than black people and that women have a higher life expectancy than men. Another recent research shows how stroke rates are higher among black people as well.
Life Expectancy Decreases Because Systems Are Not Equipped for Multiple Conditions
As senior author Prof. Gerard F. Anderson argues, medication is usually provided for one or another condition, but when they add up and the body becomes overburden, it’s getting difficult to assess which type of medication will be more efficient, mainly because the medical system is scheduled to treat diseases as individual entities affecting bodies, and not for the sum effect of more than one condition.
The findings might provide insight for Medicare decision-makers, to rethink the care plan for older people with the inclusion of provisions for those who have multiple chronic conditions. As professors that conducted the study argue, older people in America have on average more than one medical condition, like heart disease, heart problems or diabetes. They argue that, in conclusion, this being the normality of health conditions over the age of 67, Medicare should take this into account.
According to Science Blog, life expectancy decreases in U.S. , more than in any other country on globe, mainly because obesity is becoming omnipresent and because of other multiple conditions on the rise on older population. This is also believed to be a limit of how medical advances can increase life expectancy, while human bodies are faster in attaining multiple illnesses. Therefore, health multiple conditions can negatively affect a human body at a faster rate than that of the beneficial results technology can bring.