Skip directly to search Skip directly to A to Z list Skip directly to site content
CDC Home

World Health Day -- April 7, 1999

"Healthy Aging, Healthy Living -- Start Now!" is the theme in the United States for World Health Day, April 7, 1999. This day will focus on the health issues of older adults. In the United States, the proportion of adults aged greater than or equal to 65 years has tripled since 1900. During this same period, U.S. residents aged greater than or equal to 85 years have increased 31-fold. By 2030, when the last of the "baby-boom" generation reaches age 65 years, adults aged greater than or equal to 65 years will account for 20% of the U.S. population (1).

Increased longevity reflects successes achieved by public health and medical care during the 20th century. Although the aging population poses substantial challenges, older persons can improve their quality of life substantially and delay disability by following healthful lifestyle strategies (2,3). Healthful lifestyle choices (e.g., regular physical activity, good nutrition, and avoidance of smoking and overuse of alcohol) are more important than genetic factors in contributing to healthy aging (2). These choices can help aging persons avoid deterioration and dependency. Moreover, it is almost never too late to adopt healthful lifestyle habits.

The United Nations has proclaimed October 1, 1998-December 31, 1999, as the International Year of Older Persons (IYOP). Federal agencies are working together to sponsor IYOP activities. CDC will publish a special MMWR Surveillance Summary during 1999 describing the critical public health issues facing older adults in the United States.

The World Health Day Advisory Committee coordinates World Health Day activities in the United States. Additional information about special events and resource materials about World Health Day 1999 is available from the American Association for World Health, 1825 K Street, N.W., Suite 1208, Washington, DC 20006; telephone (202) 466-5883; e-mail:; or from the World-Wide Web, .


  1. American Association of Retired Persons, Bureau of the Census, and Administration on Aging. A profile of older Americans. Washington, DC: American Association of Retired Persons, Bureau of the Census, and Administration on Aging, 1998.

  2. Rowe JW, Kahn RL. Successful aging. New York: Pantheon Books, 1998.

  3. Vita AJ, Terry RB, Hubert HB, Fries JF. Aging, health risks, and cumulative disability. N Engl J Med 1998;338:1035-41.

Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

References to non-CDC sites on the Internet are provided as a service to MMWR readers and do not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC is not responsible for the content of pages found at these sites. URL addresses listed in MMWR were current as of the date of publication.

All MMWR HTML versions of articles are electronic conversions from typeset documents. This conversion might result in character translation or format errors in the HTML version. Users are referred to the electronic PDF version ( and/or the original MMWR paper copy for printable versions of official text, figures, and tables. An original paper copy of this issue can be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402-9371; telephone: (202) 512-1800. Contact GPO for current prices.

**Questions or messages regarding errors in formatting should be addressed to The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDepartment of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Road Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, USA
800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 - Contact CDC–INFO
A-Z Index
  1. A
  2. B
  3. C
  4. D
  5. E
  6. F
  7. G
  8. H
  9. I
  10. J
  11. K
  12. L
  13. M
  14. N
  15. O
  16. P
  17. Q
  18. R
  19. S
  20. T
  21. U
  22. V
  23. W
  24. X
  25. Y
  26. Z
  27. #