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Study shows disparities in aging across state

By hqew2013 at Jan. 24, 2014, 2:29 a.m., 1036 hits

More than three quarters of older adults in Massachusetts grapple with high blood pressure, and nearly 1 in 3 has been diagnosed with depression, according to a report to be released Friday that provides a first-of-its kind, in-depth look at about 100 health measures of each community.
Some regions of the state appear to be bastions for healthy aging, with relatively few seniors plagued by chronic health problems, while other areas are rife with challenges, according to the report and an interactive website commissioned by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Health Policy Forum at Brandeis University.
A number of small towns in Central and Western Massachusetts had a disproportionate share of seniors reporting no chronic conditions, the report shows, while several large cities in the southeastern part of the state have unusually high numbers of older residents with multiple health problems.
With the percentage of the population over 65 expected to significantly increase in Massachusetts and across the country — from 14 percent of the state’s residents in 2010 to 21 percent All topics about PCB technology by 2030, according to a recent UMass report — foundation leaders hope the new community profiles will spur conversation and fresh ideas to promote healthy aging.
Graphic: Prevalence rates of chronic diseases
“It’s important for people to be talking about these issues, expanding coalitions, and thinking together,” said Ruth Palombo, the foundation’s senior health policy officer.

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