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Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy

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Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal


Volume 5: No. 1, January 2008

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Cover of the January 2008 issue

One hundred years ago, this issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) would not have been possible. In 1900, a baby born in the United States had a mean life expectancy of 47 years (1). During the 20th century, however, the growth of the older adult population was so rapid that a new life stage developed with its own set of criteria and characteristics. The number of adults aged 65 or older has increased 11-fold since 1900, and now 1 in 8 Americans is older than age 65 (2). In addition, because of the large post World War II population, the number of “baby boomers” older than 65 is expected to double to more than 70 million by 2030 (2). As Guest Editor Jaya Rao notes in her editorial, the growth of this aging population is a public health triumph, although challenges remain. One critical aspect is caregiving in families, as discussed in this issue by First Lady Rosalynn Carter, and chronic disease and mental health issues that offset the quality of life for the aging population. For our first issue of 2008, PCD explores this frontier in public health, the older adult population, and our cover reflects both the inexorable passage of time and the diversity of expression and experience, like phases of the moon, in each life stage.


  1. A profile of older Americans: 2003. Washington (DC): U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging; 2003. Available from: (accessed December 2, 2007).
  2. Keeping up with older adults. In: Population profile of the United States: 2000 (Internet release). Washington (DC): U.S. Census Bureau; 2000. Available from: (accessed December 2, 2007).

Cover artist: Kristen Immoor
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