Burden of Age-Related Disease Varies Broadly Between Regions of the World

Researchers here present an interesting view of the variance in the burden of age-related disease exhibited by populations around the world. Unsurprisingly, the impact of age falls most heavily on those living in the poorest and least developed regions. Modern medicine and the other comforts of technology, for all that they do not directly target the causes of aging, do manage to have a sizable influence on the pace at which aging and age-related disease progresses over a lifetime. The largest gaps are mostly likely due to a combination of sanitation, particulate exposure from fires, and control of pathogens - akin to the difference between today and the 19th century. But the underlying reasons for the differences between wealthier nations, such as Japan versus countries of Western Europe, tend to be harder to pin down.

A 30-year gap separates countries with the highest and lowest ages at which people experience the health problems of a 65-year-old. Researchers found 76-year-olds in Japan and 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea have the same level of age-related health problems as an "average" person aged 65. These negative effects include impaired functions and loss of physical, mental, and cognitive abilities resulting from the 92 conditions analyzed, five of which are communicable and 81 non-communicable, along with six injuries.

The study is the first of its kin. Where traditional metrics of aging examine increased longevity, this study explores both chronological age and the pace at which aging contributes to health deterioration. The study uses estimates from the Global Burden of Disease study (GBD). Researchers measured "age-related disease burden" by aggregating all disability-adjusted life years (DALYs), a measurement of loss of healthy life, related to the 92 diseases. The findings cover 1990 to 2017 in 195 countries and territories. For example, in 2017, people in Papua New Guinea had the world's highest rate of age-related health problems with more than 500 DALYs per 1,000 adults, four times that of people in Switzerland with just over 100 DALYs per 1,000 adults. The rate in the United States was 161.5 DALYs per 1,000, giving it a ranking of 53rd, between Algeria at 52nd with 161.0 DALYs per 1,000 and Iran at 54th with 164.8 DALYs per 1,000.

Using global average 65-year-olds as a reference group, researchers also estimated the ages at which the population in each country experienced the same related burden rate. They found wide variation in how well or poorly people age. Ranked first, Japanese 76-year-olds experience the same aging burden as 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea, which ranked last across 195 countries and territories. At 68.5 years, the United States ranked 54th, between Iran (69.0 years) and Antigua and Barbuda (68.4 years).

Link: http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/what-age-do-you-feel-65


It is hard to believe it. 40s are merely the beginning of the age related diseases. Until 40 you, on average, don't need much medical help. And if you manage to avoid the worst abuses of your body you will have only minor issues. Of course, if you cherry pick measures you can come to the conclusion that the sixties are the new forties

Posted by: Cuberat at March 15th, 2019 7:48 AM

Hi there ! Just a 2 cents.

''...But the underlying reasons for the differences between wealthier nations, such as Japan versus countries of Western Europe, tend to be harder to pin down...

...Japanese 76-year-olds experience the same aging burden as 46-year-olds in Papua New Guinea, which ranked last across 195 countries and territories. At 68.5 years, the United States ranked 54th''.

My guess (and it is only that) is that Japan has more advanced technology (in certain departments, most likely, equal or better to US' medical departments; like health care...health care costs in US vs Japan; I'm not surprised to see Switzerland having 100 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for a 1000 Swiss adults vs 500 DALYs Papua New Guinea...this comes down to 'health care' and I would even add - Social health care/med/medcare; funded by tax payers; obtaining this quality of health care is costly/not free; hence, wealthy 'more social(ist)' capitalist countries fare much better in terms of health/longevity - because they have the money for that. Papue New Guinea, falling in 3rd world countries, is reason why high DALYS with a 46-year old lifespan avg; poor country, poor sanitary/unsanitary hospital/dirty water, poor health care/or none, lawless, social services nonexistent, poor education, many diseases rapidly, poor...everything...literally/figuratively/financially/performancely/metaphorically etc.....and then yeah, that makes for a short life and not much chances to live very long).

There is an old saying: ''ugly, poor, destitute, dirty, uneducated, ill/unhealthy''..etc...and then, dead. It goes hand in hand...successful people Generally speaking (if broad stereotyping/generalizing) - are Prettier, Richer, More Famous, Healthier, More Educated, More Popular, Clean, Sane, and Live The Longest. (Jeanne Calment came from a rich family/a heiress..she lived to over a 120 years old...are there exceptions to these rules ? Yes...some centenarians come from very poor countries - they only lived this long because of healthy food they ate/their poor status Helped them to Avoid Bad crappy food/they live in pristine no pollution/Blue Zones/they are uneducated (No Stress, some are Hermits 'Ignorance is Bliss and Can Save You (from over stressed by the 'world', if you don't care - no stress))/but these are outliers - Most, centenarians are from places where they accessed services to protect them. The from 3rd world coutnries centenarians are Truly Outliers whom evaded all the problems that plague the rich nations. Like bad food/junk food exposure/no exercice/eating bad supplements that end up being detrimental than good/exposed to city pollution/STRESSED -all the time in fast hectic city life...etc...so yeah, they 'compensate' somewhere and sometimes their family has a genetic inheritance of family longeity (so their grand-ma or great-grand pa might have lived a 100 years+ too..not an accident, there is Strong genetic component to why they live this long, while many others are cautious too and succomb much earlier). Japan has also a better health/mind than US and why the 76 vs 68 years gap (I think), it shows, Japanese eat 8 parts out of 10 - they practice calorie restriction 'eat only what you need to feel 'almost full' - not full/a form fasting (and knowling so, or some might not even know it, they are in constant induced CR)....USA? The total inverse (and I'm talking as a Canadian here, outsider giving my opinion..), the Sizes/Portions of USA food can be Giganormous...go to Wendy's Burger King...sh....it's Dire..Some people called the junk food literally 'kill (you) food'...a Big Mac...is more like a Big Mack Attack (Heart Attack) in the making...so many caloried/fat..it's deadly and clogs your arteries (I know I ate them 'en masse' younger...and nearly died of them..I have not visited a McDonald's/junk resto in 5 years and don't miss it). I had to or atherosclerosis would kill me. If you want to accelerate that, go eat there. I'm saddened also, because there is a Pandemic of obesity in USA and Canada too...but not just obesity...people that are thin and die Suddenly (sudden death), it's happening, young people dying (fat or not) because exposed to these many toxic food products that we consume every day - it takes a toll fast...and now we are seeing the results (it's why we may say :'Oh but my grand-father lived to 99 years old and ate bacon/ham sanwich/smoked cigars/ate lard/did everything to kill himself..and live 99...' Yeah, we see how well this works for you/the new yougn ones now..it doesn't. Grand-pa was the exception to the rule/the outlier/the force of nature...today pollution is far worse than long ago/ok food is becoming healthier but it coexists with crappy junnk food..and people still continuously don'T do exercice (while grand-pa might have walked For Miles to get to a corner store..he got exercice..he evened out. Today, we don't, in Japan/China they litterally ride the Bike Everywhere...they get some exercice...they do martial arts/therapeutics (acupuncture/Chinese/Japanese herbal teas/herb supplements/tai chi/DESTRESS...they are good at that and hence, it'S why live long..with that said, I only mean those that DO do it, people in Japan/China may not do that (like in the popular overcrowded cities...they eat junk like us in North America...and suddenly they don'T fare so well anymore, like us (it's why 76 vs 68..it's not that far from each other..meaning Only the ones whom do CR, exercice, have genetic family longevity, get heatlh services will go Above 76).

Just a 2 cents.

Just a 2 cents.

Posted by: CANanonymity at March 15th, 2019 4:12 PM

Aside from the regular reasons why America scores so poorly on such things (lack of universal healthcare, violence, etc) I wonder if places like Japan do better in part because they have a homogeneous culture. I remember reading an article about how life expectancy in middle America is actually going down, mostly due to "slow suicide" modes of death, like people eating badly or doing legal/illegal drugs etc. It said people in the US, particularly the white working class, have "lost the narrative of their lives". Having an identity and a clear vision of yourself as part of something is psychologically important to staving off nihilism, and a globalizing world can make that difficult.

Posted by: kel at March 17th, 2019 12:11 PM
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