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Longer life may mean more years of disability


Most people want to have as long a life as possible. Thanks to innovative technology and advances in medicine, Americans are now living longer than ever. But a new study suggests that maybe the increase in life span is not necessarily as good as it sounds.

According to this new study, which was published in the American Journal of Public Health, the life span for American men and women increased substantially between 1970 and 2010. During that timeframe, men's average life span jumped more than nine years, to 76.2 years. Likewise, in 2010, the average life span for women was 81 years, an increase of more than six years since 1970.

But the study also shows that an increased life span doesn't always come with good health. At the same time that Americans are experiencing prolonged life, they are also enduring more years of living with disabilities. The study concluded that women are living an average of 3.6 more years with a disability, and for men, the increase is 4.7 more years of living with a disability.

For some people, living longer with a disability means they are unable to continue working and supporting themselves financially. If a person suffers a debilitating illness like heart disease, working may prove to be impossible. In addition, the person may need long-term care to help them with their everyday needs and to deal with the illness.

Regardless of whether a person gets sick later in life or during the prime years of their career, Social Security Disability benefits for illness may be an option. People in the Houston area who are disabled due to an illness should research their possibilities for seeking SSD benefits.

Source: WFMJ.com, "Americans' longer life = poorer health," April 19, 2016

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