Epidemiology and Aging
This chapter discusses basic epidemiological data concerning older people. It considers some of the wider international trends both in the developed and developing world. The chapter focuses on some of the international trends concerning four issues particularly pertinent for older people: cardiovascular diabetes, diabetes, dementia and falls. It considers two long-standing longitudinal general population studies; firstly the US Health and Retirement Study and secondly the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) is an epidemiological study covering health, employment and financial status, access to support services and participation in wider society, amongst other issues. The trajectory for smoking-related behaviours was uniformly in a healthy direction and this was particularly marked in the higher social classes and better-educated groups. The developed world is prone to attributing diseases to being part of the aging process rather than being disease-related.