Skip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC Home Search CDC CDC Health Topics A-Z    
   
small bar spacer OMHD Home About Us Sitemap Contact Us bar spacer    
Small horizontal bar collage containing four portraits; each of person of a different racial or ethnic background.
About Minority Health
Cooperative Agreements
Executive Orders
Reports & Publications
Minority Health Resources
All Populations
Racial & Ethnic Minority Populations
Training Opportunities

 

 

Archived
June, 2007


Highlights in Minority Health
September, 2005
Healthy Aging Month - September, 2005
 

September 2005 is Healthy Aging Month
   
More Americans are living longer, and the proportion of the U.S. population that is age 65 or older is growing rapidly.1  According to the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), there were 35.0 million Americans ages 65 and over in 2000.2  By 2030, the number of older Americans will have doubled to 70 million, or one in every five Americans.3 In addition, the seniors of the future will be even more racially and ethnically diverse than today’s seniors.4
Although the risk for disease and disability clearly increases with age, poor health is not an inevitable consequence of aging. People with a healthy lifestyle (i.e., people who get regular exercise, avoid tobacco use, and eat healthily) have half the risk for disability of those who do not have a healthy lifestyle.5
 

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

EXAMPLES OF IMPORTANT HEALTH DISPARITIES
 
Racial and Ethnic
  red arrow Non-Hispanic whites comprise 83.1% of Americans ages 65 and over; this compares to 68.9% of Americans of all ages.6  By 2050, those proportions are projected to be substantially different:  64% of the older population is expected to be non-Hispanic white, 16% Hispanic, 12% non-Hispanic black, and 7% non-Hispanic Asian and Pacific Islander, with the non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Native populations remaining at less than 1%.7
  red arrow During 1994 to 1996, 72.2% of Americans ages 65 and over reported their health as good, very good, or excellent.  Among non-Hispanic whites, 74.0% reported good to excellent health, compared to 64.9% of Hispanics/Latinos and 58.4% of non-Hispanic blacks.8
  red arrow Influenza vaccination coverage among adults 65 years of age and over is 68% for whites, 48% for African Americans, and 54% for Hispanics. The gap for Pneumococcal vaccination coverage among ethnic groups is even wider, with 60% for whites, 38% for African Americans, and 36% for Hispanics.9
 

Disabilities and Chronic Conditions

  red arrow Falls are the most common cause of injuries to older adults. More than one-third of adults ages 65 and over fall each year, and of those who fall, 20%–30% suffer moderate to severe injuries that decrease mobility and independence.4
  red arrow Older Americans are at greater risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease and arthritis compared to their younger counterparts (see chart below).

Age-adjusted percentages of selected diseases and conditions among persons 18 years of age and over: United States, 2003

  All Adults Ages 18+ Ages 65-74 Ages 75+
Heart disease (all types) 11.2 27.4 36.1
Cancer
(any type
6.6 18.0 21.6
Diabetes 6.7 17.9 15.8
Kidney disease 1.4 3.0 4.3
Arthritis 21.5 46.2 51.9

Source: CDC, NCHS, Summary Health Statistics for U.S. Adults: National Health Interview Survey, 2003

 

Gender

  red arrow During 1999-2002, females ages 75 and over were 1.2 times more likely than males in the same age groups to have high blood pressure (females: 82.8%, males: 68.4%).10
  red arrow During 1999-2002, females ages 75 and over were 2.6 times more likely than males in the same age group to have high serum cholesterol (defined as greater than or equal to 240 mg/dL) (females: 26.5%, males: 10.2%).  Females ages 75 and over had average cholesterol that was 22 points higher than males in the same age group (females: 217, males: 195).11
  red arrow During 1999-2002, males ages 75 and over were 1.1 times more likely to be overweight (defined as body mass index [BMI] greater than or equal to 25) than females in the same age group (males: 67.4%, females: 59.9%).  During the same years, females ages 75 and over were 1.3 times more likely to be obese (defined as BMI greater than or equal to 30) than males in the same age group (females: 23.6%, males: 18.0%).12
  red arrow During 2001-2002, females ages 65 and over were 1.2 times more likely to visit hospital emergency departments due to unintentional injuries than males in the same age group (females: 1019.8 per 10,000, males: 844.3 per 10,000).13
 

Socio-Economic Status

  red arrow In 2000, near poor and nonpoor females ages 65 and over were 1.3 times more likely to get a mammogram than poor women (near and nonpoor: 69.9%, poor: 54.8%).  Females in the same age group with a high school diploma or GED, or some college were 1.3 times more likely to get a mammogram than women with no high school diploma or GED (high school or GED: 72.0%, some college: 74.1%, no diploma or GED: 57.5%).14
  red arrow In 2000, near poor and nonpoor females ages 65 and over were 1.2 times more likely to get a Pap test than poor women (near and nonpoor: 66.2%, poor: 53.9%).   Females in the same age group with a high school diploma or GED (67.0%), or some college (69.8%) were 1.2 times more likely to get a Pap test than women with no high school diploma or GED (high school or GED: 67.0%, some college: 69.8%, no diploma or GED: 56.7%).15

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

PROMISING INTERVENTION STRATEGIES
 
Poor health and loss of independence are not inevitable consequences of aging. The following strategies have proven effective in promoting the health of older adults:
  red arrow Healthy lifestyles. Research has shown that healthy lifestyles are more influential than genetic factors in helping older people avoid the deterioration traditionally associated with aging.
  red arrow Early detection of diseases. Screening to detect chronic diseases early in their course, when they are most treatable, can save many lives; however, many older adults have not had recommended screenings.
  red arrow Immunizations. Immunizations reduce a person’s risk for hospitalization and death from these diseases. Yet in 2002, 32% of Americans aged 65 or older had not had a recent flu shot, and 37% had never received a pneumonia vaccine.
  red arrow Injury prevention. Removing tripping hazards in the home and installing grab bars are simple measures that can greatly reduce older Americans’ risk for falls and fractures.
  red arrow Self-management techniques. Programs to teach older Americans self-management techniques can reduce both the pain and costs of chronic disease.4

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

PROGRAMS AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
 
Poor health and loss of independence are not inevitable consequences of aging. The following strategies have proven effective in promoting the health of older adults:
  red arrow To promote healthy aging, CDC supported programs at the American Society for the Aging, the National Council on the Aging, the Institute for the Future of Aging Services, the National Safety Council, and the American Association of Active Lifestyles and Fitness. Accomplishments include
 
blue sphere
Increased availability of health-related information on older adults for health professionals and for other professionals who specialize in age-related issues;
 
blue sphere
Enhanced efforts to increase physical activity and reduce fall-related injuries; and
 
blue sphere
Strengthened collaboration on aging-related issues throughout the public health and aging-related networks.
  red arrow CDC supported the Prevention Research Centers’ Healthy Aging Network, a unique group of academic institutions that conduct prevention research with a specific focus on the development and dissemination of community-based strategies to promote health and prevent disease and injury among older adults.
  red arrow MMWR’s Special Series on Public Health and Aging is the first series of articles by a variety of CDC programs that highlight health issues related to aging and discuss the health and economic effect of a rapidly aging population. In addition to dissemination through the standard MMWR distribution lists, these articles were widely disseminated to the public health and aging networks through CDC’s Healthy Aging list-serve, CDC’s Web site on aging, partners’ newsletters, and multiple conference presentations.
  red arrow CDC has supported 24 state health department and state unit on aging collaboratives to implement projects designed to promote health and prevent disease among older adults. This initiative, the State-Based Examples of Network Innovation, Opportunity and Replication or SENIOR grants, jointly funded with the Administration on Aging and administered through the Chronic Disease Directors and the National Association of State Units on Aging, addresses such topics as physical activity, increased use of clinical preventive services, chronic disease self-management, and oral health promotion.
  red arrow In collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Health, CDC convened the surveillance summit “Making Health Count for Older Americans.”  The summit brought together a diverse group of leaders in public health and aging to discuss the utility and design of a report card on elder health.  As a result, CDC has partnered with the Merck Institute of Aging and Health and the Gerontological Society of America to create an easily referenced report, the State of Aging and Health in America, 2004, that includes key health indicators for older adults, national and state aging-related data, calls to action, and a narrative on critical health issues for older adults.16

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

FOR MORE INFORMATION

   
  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
 
blue sphere

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)

      Healthy Aging
      Health Statistics/Research
      The State of Aging and Health in America 2004
  blue sphere

National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

      Aging Activities
      NCHS Data on Older Adult Health
      Older Persons’ Health
  Administration on Aging (AoA)
    Eliminating Health Disparities
    Fact Sheets
      American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians
      Serving Our Hispanic Elders
   

Online Statistical Data on the Aging

     

Rural Aging

 

Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ)

   

Improving the Health and Health Care of Older Americans: A Report of the AHRQ Task Force on Aging

  National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  blue sphere

National Institute on Aging (NIA)

     

Review of Minority Aging Research at the NIA

  blue sphere

Medline Plus: Seniors’ Health Issues

  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
   

Aging Initiative

  Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics
  Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
   

FDA and AoA Focus Disease Prevention Initiative Toward Older Hispanic Americans

  Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
   

Matrix: Services for Older Adults

  U.S. Census Bureau
   

The 65 Years and Over Population: 2000

  American Association of Active Lifestyles and Fitness
  American Association of Retired People (AARP)
  The American Geriatrics Society
  American Society on Aging
  Institute for the Future of Aging Services
  The National Council on the Aging

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

SOURCES

1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP), The State of Aging and Health in America, 2004
2. CDC, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Older Persons’ Health, 2002
3. CDC, NCCDPHP, Health Aging for Older Adults, 2005
4. CDC, NCCDPHP, Healthy Aging: Preventing Disease and Improving Quality of Life Among Older Americans At-A-Glance, 2005
5. CDC, NCCDPHP, Healthy Aging: Effects of an Aging Population, 2005
6. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 1
7. Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics, Well-Being Improves for Most Older People, But Not For All, New Federal Report Says, 2000
8. Administration on Aging (AoA), Facts and Figures:  Statistics on Minority Aging in the U.S., 2004
9. CDC, National Immunization Program (NIP), Racial & Ethnic Adult Disparities in Immunization Initiative (READII), 2004
10. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 67
11. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 68
12. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 69
13. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 84
14. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 81
15. CDC, NCHS, Health, United States, 2004, table 82
16. CDC, NCCDPHP, Major Accomplishments, 2005

Top of Pageto top of page, arrow up

NOTES

*Poor persons are defined as below the poverty threshold.  Near poor persons have incomes of 100 percent to less than 200 percent of the poverty threshold.  Nonpoor persons have incomes of 200 percent of greater than the poverty threshold.

 

 

Conferences
& Events

Section Menu

  red square Conferences
& Events
  red square Current
Highlight
  red square Archive
Highlights
    2005
red square  December
red square  November
red square  October
red square  September
red square  September
red square  July/August
red square  June
red square  June
red square  May
red square  April
red square  March
red square  March
red square  February
red square  Jan/February
red square  January

2004

2003

2002

 

 
 

OMHD Home | About OMHD | Sitemap | Contact OMHD
Accessibility | Privacy Policy | CDC Sitemap | Search | Health Topics A-Z

Office of Minority Health & Health Disparities (OMHD)

Please Note: Links to non-Federal organizations found at this site are provided solely as a service to our users. These links do not constitute an endorsement of these organizations or their programs by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at these links.
 


 

 
  Home | Policies and Regulations | Disclaimer | e-Government | FOIA | Other Languages | Link To Us | Contact Us  
  Safer, Healthier People
 
 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, U.S.A.
  800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636), TTY: (888) 232-6348
  24 hours/Every Day - cdcinfo@cdc.gov
  USA.gov: The U.S. Government's Official Web PortalDHHS Department of Health and Human Services