Skip to 0 minutes and 15 seconds Between five and ten years have been added to life expectancy at birth over a relatively short period of time. That’s against the backdrop both of worldwide life expectancy going up by five hours per day. So if you’d asked me the question yesterday and compared with today, five hours on average in the world life expectancy has gone up. So it’s dramatic changes. Within the UK that five, ten years– to where you are at five to ten years depends on several things. First of all gender, secondly ethnicity, and thirdly socioeconomic situation. And there’s quite marked changes in some of those.
Skip to 0 minutes and 50 seconds Within that, the most interesting thing I think for the last 30 years compared with earlier in the 20th century is that much of that additional life expectancy is within old age. So actually it’s if you look at 65-year-olds and say, right, how has their life expectancy changed? What we see is a major difference. So now, it’s over 20 years both for men and women– more for women than for men– from the age of 65. So in other words, into the mid late 80s is the life expectancy once you actually hit 65. Now within that, women have a greater life expectancy than men. And their increase in the last 20 years has been slightly greater, only marginally greater.
Skip to 1 minute and 29 seconds But there are differences within that. What everybody is concerned about, of course, is are these extra years of life with health or without health? And so it’s been quite a lot of epidemiological work looking at trying to split that additional life expectancy into the bit that’s healthy life expectancy with no reported long term conditions or disabilities and in particular, no reported disabilities or so-called disability life expectancy. And of the additional years we’ve had in the last 20, 30 years, about on average half of that edition is with healthy life expectancy. And the other half is with some disability. That’s life affecting, not necessarily major, but some disability that affects life. Women have done worse than men in that regard.
Skip to 2 minutes and 12 seconds Rather more than 50% of their additional years are associated with disability. So the spectrum then in old age is of people living longer. People living some of the extra years with disability more so if you’re a woman. Now going back to the increase over the last 25 years and looking at that particular relationship between total and healthy life expectancy, there’s been a divergence based on socio-economic background so that the differences in healthy life expectancy in old age are getting bigger not smaller. And that’s clearly a major factor. So it’s a mixed picture, on the whole, a very good picture and happening it’s the older population getting older rather than more people as it were graduating into old age.
The changing demographic and the current fiscal challenges
In the video Professor Finbar Martin from King’s College London discusses the changing demographic. After watching this video, the next step will explain the clear implications this will have on the current fiscal challenges faced by healthcare systems.
© Shared with permission from the POPS team at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital