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Americans’ Longer Life Equals Poorer Health

Americans are living longer, but those extra years may include poor health or a disability, a new study finds.

Between 1970 and 2010, the average life span for men increased 9.2 years to 76.2 years of age, and for women it increased 6.4 years to 81 years of age, according to the report.

However, the number of years lived with a disability rose 4.7 years among men and 3.6 years among women, while the number of disability-free years increased by 4.5 years for men and 2.7 years for women, the findings showed.

“We could be increasing the length of poor-quality life more than good-quality life,” said lead author Eileen Crimmins. She is a professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California Davis School of Gerontology.