Disease Incidence and Mortality in Older Americans and Europeans

Aïda Solé-Auró, Universitat de Barcelona and University of Southern California
Pierre-Carl Michaud, Université du Québec à Montréal and RAND Corporation
Michael Hurd, RAND Corporation

We know little about international differences in the processes determining the prevalence of chronic diseases of old age. The processes underlying disease prevalence include incidence and survival which can only be estimated from longitudinal data. The higher prevalence in the U.S. could result from either higher incidence or longer survival. This paper uses comparable longitudinal data for populations aged 50 to 79 from the U.S. (Health and Retirement Study) and eleven European countries (Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe) to examine age-specific differences in disease incidence and mortality from 2004 to 2006. We investigate incidence of diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and lung disease, functioning loss and associated mortality. Understanding differences in incidence and survival is essential to understand the meaning of differences in disease prevalence. Based on these conditions, we compute life and healthy life expectancy using a simulation model.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Session 26: Differentials in Late-Life Health