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Article
May 2, 1990

The Sunny Side of Aging

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif.

From the Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, Calif.

JAMA. 1990;263(17):2354-2355. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440170076040
Abstract

When confronting the health and medical care costs of the aging of America, there are optimists and there are pessimists. In a most curious way the "optimists" have become those who believe that life is limited and that the average life expectancy of seniors is unlikely to grow rapidly in the future. "Pessimists" are those who believe that life expectancy increases will continue, and perhaps will even increase in the future. In a thoughtful article in this issue of JAMA, Schneider and Guralnik1 beat the pessimistic drum loudly and clearly. Medicare costs may rise sixfold by the year 2040 in constant 1987 dollars. Dementia might ultimately afflict 28% or more of the senior population. We might expect 800 000 hip fractures annually by the year 2040. Research funding for the conditions that will pose the largest health care problems in the next century, including osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, and Alzheimer's disease,

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