Wealthy Seniors Get Healthier

By the time people reach the age of 65, most know that life is not fair. And so the latest news about the health of people over 65 should surprise few seniors.  Researchers at the University of Michigan have found that older Americans report feeling dramatically healthier than they did 14 years ago, but much of that gain is going to the wealthiest, most highly educated and whites.  A University of Michigan news release reports that the study, which used data from 55,000 older adults in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and who reported their health twice during the year, found that, overall, the number of older adults who reported good health increased 14 percent over the 2000-2014 study period. The project found that whites were more likely than blacks or Hispanics to report being healthy, and that rate increased over time from 442 per 1,000 to 533 per 1,000. The rate of good health for blacks and Hispanics remained flat, but there was an uptick in the rate of good health for other race/ethnicities. The high-income group reported the most health, and increased steadily from 490 per 1,000 to 603 per 1,000 Overall, 52 percent of healthy older adults were from high-income families, compared to 31 percent among the not-healthy group.

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