Japanese-Americans Could Serve as Model for Aging Population
The elderly Japanese-American population in California could serve as a model for caring for future aging populations of all ethnicities in the state and across the U.S., according to a study by researchers at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Payers & Providers reports.
According to the study, nearly 25% of Japanese-Americans are over age 65, twice that of the U.S. population.
The study noted that over the next 35 years, the proportion of the U.S. population over age 65 will reach the current percentage of Japanese-Americans at that age.
According to the study, the Japanese-American population could serve as a "study cohort," adding, "Information on key lifestyle and quality-of-life practices that support healthy aging among the Japanese[-American] population can help the U.S. prepare for the influx of aging Baby Boomers."
The study cited several metrics that showed Japanese-Americans outpacing the rest of the population in certain health measures. For example:
- 8.1% of Japanese-Americans said their health was in poor or fair condition, compared with the overall average of 20.1% of the California population;
- Japanese-Americans have lower obesity rates than all Californians and are less likely to suffer from heart disease and psychological distress; and
- Japanese-Americans are less likely than Californians to report disabilities.
However, the study noted that Japanese-American residents were more likely to experience arthritis, high blood pressure and unhealthy drinking habits than the state population as a whole.
According to Payers & Providers, the study did not make specific recommendations to further study the aging Japanese-American populations.
However, Ying-Ying Meng, lead author of the study and co-director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, said that Japanese-Americans can "show us one vision of how our nation can age and can help us prepare for the enormous generational shift ahead" (Payers & Providers, 5/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.