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Compression or expansion of morbidity? Trends in healthy-life expectancy in the elderly Austrian population between 1978 and 1998

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  • Doblhammer, Gabriele
  • Kytir, Josef

Abstract

The aim of our study is to test the theories of compression or expansion of morbidity on the basis of data on the elderly population of Austria. Our data come from four microcensus surveys for the years 1978, 1983, 1991, and 1998. We use self-perceived health ratings to calculate healthy-life expectancy for the elderly population aged 60-89. Because our data are based on four cross-sectional surveys, we devote the first part of the paper to the consequences of possible sampling and non-sampling errors in our analysis of time trends. We come to the conclusion that, although the absolute number of years lived in good health may be overestimated, the time trend in healthy-life expectancy over the 20 years most probably is unbiased. The second part of the paper describes trends in healthy-life expectancy for the Austrian population. Our results suggest that both healthy-life expectancy and the ratio of healthy years to life expectancy increased between 1978 and 1998. Thus, in Austria ill health seems to be more and more compressed into the later years of life. Contrary to Fries's hypothesis, however, life expectancy does not seem to be approaching a maximum average life span in Austria, as mortality rates at older ages have been continuously decreasing over the last 20 years.

Suggested Citation

  • Doblhammer, Gabriele & Kytir, Josef, 2001. "Compression or expansion of morbidity? Trends in healthy-life expectancy in the elderly Austrian population between 1978 and 1998," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 385-391, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:52:y:2001:i:3:p:385-391
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gu, Danan & Dupre, Matthew E. & Warner, David F. & Zeng, Yi, 2009. "Changing health status and health expectancies among older adults in China: Gender differences from 1992 to 2002," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 68(12), pages 2170-2179, June.
    2. repec:kap:ijhcfe:v:17:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10754-016-9204-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Nicolas Sirven, 2012. "On the Socio-Economic Determinants of Frailty: Findings from Panel and Retrospective Data from SHARE," Working Papers DT52, IRDES institut for research and information in health economics, revised Dec 2012.
    4. Paolo Melindi-Ghidi & Willem Sas, 2015. "Invest as You Go: How Public Health Investment Keeps Pension Systems Healthy," Working Papers halshs-01171701, HAL.
    5. Ruben Castro, 2012. "Educational differences in chronic conditions and their role in the educational differences in overall mortality," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 27(12), pages 339-364, August.
    6. Heger, Dörte & Kolodziej, Ingo W.K., 2016. "Changes in morbidity over time: Evidence from Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 640, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    7. Vanessa Yong & Yasuhiko Saito, 2009. "Trends in healthy life expectancy in Japan: 1986 - 2004," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(19), pages 467-494, April.
    8. Fanny A. Kluge & Emilio Zagheni & Elke Loichinger & Tobias C. Vogt, 2014. "The advantages of demographic change after the wave: fewer and older, but healthier, greener, and more productive?," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2014-003, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
    9. repec:oup:geronb:v:72:y:2017:i:2:p:310-318. is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Johannes Klotz, 2010. "Convergence or divergence of educational disparities in mortality and morbidity? The evolution of life expectancy and health expectancy by educational attainment in Austria in 1981-2006," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 8(1), pages 139-174.

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