Aging in the Americas: A Cross-National Comparison of Health Transitions and Disability-Free Life Expectancy among Adults Age 65 and Older in the United States, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Puerto Rico

Collin F. Payne, University of Pennsylvania

The pace of population aging in Latin America is nearly unprecedented. A typical country in Latin America will reach a population with 15% of individuals over the age of 65 in less than half the time this shift took in the US. My research uses recent longitudinal data to investigate differences in the aging process in four settings in Central and North America (Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and the US) with similar levels of e0 and e60 but substantially different demographic and epidemiological histories. I find that life expectancy in disability in the three Latin American contexts is fairly similar to the US, though there is substantial variation by sex. The overall burden of disability is slightly higher in Puerto Rican and Costa Rican females when compared to the US, and Costa Rican males have the longest life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy.

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Presented in Session 68: Older Populations in the Americas: Determinants of Healthy Aging