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UK 65 year olds will get more years of good health than most EU counterparts, says Year of Active Ageing survey
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British men and women aged 65 have the fifth best prospects in the EU in terms of future healthy life years, according to an EU survey published today. British women can expect another 11.8 healthy years and men 10.8 years.

The survey was performed as part of the EU's current European Year for Active Ageing 2012, which is intended to raise awareness of the contribution that older people make to society. It seeks to encourage policymakers and relevant stakeholders at all levels to take action to create better opportunities for active ageing.

    UK 65 year olds will get more years of good health than most EU counterparts, says Year of Active Ageing survey

    Meanwhile, the EU's European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing aims to harness science and innovation to increase by two years the average number of healthy life years in the EU by 2020.

    Sweden tops the table for both women (15.5 years) and men (14.1 years). British women also come off worse than their counterparts in Denmark (12.8 years), Luxembourg (12.4 years) and Malta (11.9 years). After Sweden, men have the best prospects of healthy life in Malta (12 years), Denmark (11.8) and Ireland (11.1).

    Women are worst off in this respect in Slovakia (2.8 years) and Romania (5 years). Men's prospects for healthy life over 65 are worst in Slovakia (3.3 years) and Latvia (4.9 years).

    The EU average is 8.8 healthy life years for women after 65 and 8.7 for men.

    There is no exact correlation between life expectancy itself and healthy life expectancy.

    Life expectancy for women aged 65 in the UK is 20.8 years, below the EU average of 21 years and placing Britain only fifteenth of the EU 27.

    For 65 year old men in the UK, average life expectancy is 18.1 years, above the EU average of 17.4 years and placing the UK equal seventh.

    The indicator of healthy life years measures the number of years that a person of a specific age is expected to live without any severe or moderate health problems, which means that the respondent can maintain usual activities. It should be noted that due to different ways of phrasing the question at national level, data might not be fully comparable.


    For more information, please contact the London press office on 020 7973 1971.
    All amounts expressed in sterling are approximate and will change with exchange rate fluctuations.

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    Last update: 20/04/2012  |Top