The Baby Boom generation has redefined aging. They are longer-lived, healthier, and more health-conscious, than the prior generation. Isn't that the common wisdom?
A new study seems to put the lie to that. Published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's Internal Medicine, the study found that in significant ways, those born between 1947 and 1964 are less healthy than the generation before them and after them. Obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol are some of the key problems. Highlights of the study:
14% of Boomers have some kind of limitation that prevents them from doing tasks like mowing or climbing stairs. Only 8.8% of the generation preceding them had similar problems at the same age.
7% of Boomers are using a cane to assist with walking. Only 3% of the prior generation needed a cane at the same age.
75% of Boomers have high blood pressures; only 35% of the prior generation did at the same age.
A whopping 36% of Baby Boomers are obese; the number is 25% among the prior generation.
The researchers at the University of West Virginia School of Medicine who authored the study conclude: : "Medication use has definitely increased, so we are propping ourselves up on our canes and our medicines. We are becoming over dependent on medications and surgical solutions rather than creating our own good health."
Many of my Florida estate planning clients come to me because of ill health that creates all kinds of legal and financial problems for them and their families. Of course, not every medical problem can be prevented or cured with a healthy lifestyle; let's face it, luck has a lot to do with it. But most of us can do a lot to move the odds in our favor. So let's pitch the potato chips, get off the couch and do whatever possible to ensure the quality of our lives matches the quantity.