4/16/14 Being Active, Controlling Weight, and Avoiding Heart Disease May Greatly Increase Active Life Expectancy for People with Diabetes (Sarah B. Laditka, PhD and James N. Laditka, DA, PhD)
Presenting from UNC-Charlotte
Being Active, Controlling Weight, and Avoiding Heart Disease May Greatly Increase Active Life Expectancy for People with Diabetes
Active Life Expectancy is an important measure of public health. It measures life expectancy as well as the percentages of remaining life from a given age with and without disability. Active Life Expectancy research examining associations among diabetes, disability, and death often has not accounted for health factors that are common among people with diabetes. Thus, it is not known if diabetes itself is a major cause of disability and death, or if health factors that are frequently associated with diabetes may be the causes. This study identified associations of diabetes with life expectancy (LE) and the proportion of life with disability (DLE), accounting for heart disease and earlier-life obesity and physical inactivity. These same associations were examined for successful aging to the end of life, defined as the percentage of the population without disability in the last year of life. Data was used from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (1999-2011, and 1986, n=1,862, 15,859 person-years), representing African American and White women and men ages 55+. Disability was assessed by activities of daily living. The study estimated monthly disability status probabilities with multinomial logistic Markov models adjusted for age, sex, ethnicity, education, and the four health factors. A random effect accounted for repeated measures. Bootstrapping provided standard errors. Microsimulation created large populations to identify the outcome measures. Much of the disability and mortality associated with diabetes was due to heart disease and earlier-life obesity and inactivity, risks that can be modified by preventive health care and healthy behaviors.
Sarah B. Laditka, PhD is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. Her research emphasizes Active Life Expectancy, health behaviors, and health disparities. She developed a new method to calculate active life expectancy, or the percentage of remaining life that older people can expect to live with and without substantial disability. This method allows researchers to make better use of longitudinal data to improve projections of life expectancy and active life expectancy and is used by researchers in many countries. Dr. Laditka received a B.A. from Colgate University, an M.B.A. (Finance) from the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and an M.A. (Economics) and Ph.D. (Public Administration) from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.
James N. Laditka, DA, PhD is an Associate Professor of Public Health Sciences at University of North Carolina-Charlotte. His research focuses on health disparities and aging. He is working on simulating health, disability, and health care use throughout older life. This work involves longitudinal data analysis and advanced methods for estimating Active Life Expectancy, a central measure of public health that combines life expectancy with the proportions of life with and without various diseases or types and levels of disability. Active Life Expectancy varies greatly among socioeconomic groups and geographic areas. In the United States, life expectancy can vary by 20 years or more from one area to another or among groups defined by various socioeconomic characteristics. There is analogous variation among these groups in the proportion of life with disability. Estimating these measures helps to shed light on health disparities.