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Trends in Morbidity, Healthy Life Expectancy, and the Compression of Morbidity


Crimmins, Eileen M.; Zhang, Yuan S.; Kim, Jung Ki; & Levine, Morgan E. (2021). Trends in Morbidity, Healthy Life Expectancy, and the Compression of Morbidity.. Musi, Nicolas & Hornsby, Peter J. (Eds.) (pp. 405-414). London: Academic Press.


This chapter lays out the dimensions of morbidity and the processes linking morbidity and mortality. It provides evidence of recent trends in morbidity of the older American population: decline in some types of disability but not others, disease, and physiological dysregulation among the older American population. In addition, the chapter uses data from two recent cohorts to look at survival without disease and the age at onset of diseases. We have generally seen an increase in the prevalence and time with disease; but disease appears less disabling now than in the past. In addition, the onset of myocardial infarction appears to have been delayed by the recent control of biological risk. Most of the evidence does not support the idea that we have experienced a recent compression of morbidity; it does support some delay and retarding of progression of the morbidity process.


Reference Type

Book Section

Year Published


Series Title

The Handbooks of Aging


Crimmins, Eileen M.
Zhang, Yuan S.
Kim, Jung Ki
Levine, Morgan E.


United States of America