special/news

The Developing World: New Populations of Old Add to Poor Nations' Burdens

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Science  05 Jul 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5271, pp. 46
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5271.46

Summary

As tough as things are for the elderly in the developed world, they are even worse in the developing countries. With a few possible exceptions, such as the Asian “tigers” with their booming economies, these countries are largely facing their growing elderly populations with few sources of help. Pensions are scarce, already inadequate health care systems are facing impossible demands, and families are becoming less and less able to take care of their own old, partly for economic reasons and partly because AIDS is killing off the young to middle-aged adults.