“The U.S. has seen substantial improvements in life expectancy over the past century, particularly for those who are better-educated and more affluent.
“Our study, out September 18, looks at the health of older Americans in recent years, using data collected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on more than 50,000 seniors age 65 and older. Seniors in 2014 were 14 percent more likely to report that they were in very good or excellent health, compared to seniors in 2000.
“However, a closer look tells a worrisome story: The health divide is widening across socioeconomic groups. Gains in good health primarily went to more advantaged groups.
“Our work reveals a health disparity echoed in reports by others. In 1980, a wealthy 50-year-old man could expect to live an additional 5.1 years longer than a poor man of the same age. Thirty years later, the life expectancy of two similar men differs by more than a dozen years.”
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