Policy ForumDemography

Remeasuring Aging

Science  10 Sep 2010:
Vol. 329, Issue 5997, pp. 1287-1288
DOI: 10.1126/science.1193647

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Summary

Population aging is an international concern, in part because of consequences of coming age-structure changes, e.g., growth in the number of elderly, decline in the number of youth, and accompanying economic and social costs (14). These expectations are based on conventional measures of aging that link expected phenotypes to fixed chronological ages. But as life expectancies increase and people remain healthy longer, measures based solely on fixed chronological ages can be misleading. Recently, we published aging forecasts for all countries based on new measures that account for changes in longevity (58). Here, we add new forecasts based on disability status. Both types of forecasts exhibit a slower pace of aging compared with the conventional ones.