The health comparison of eighty-year-olds from lund and Klaipėda

Faustas Stepukonis

Abstract


The aim of the article is to compare the health of 80-year-olds from Lund (Sweden) and from Klaipėda on the basis of the data from similar studies of 80+, and to discuss historical obstacles, which might have affected the differences in the results. 133 eighty-year-olds born in 1923 from Lund and 200 from Klaipėda were selected and investigated.
The results from the studies show that by most parameters – body mass index, blood pressure, quality of sleep, ability to walk independently, subjective self health assessments and objective physicians’ health assessments – the health of 80-year-olds from Lund is better compared with those from Klaipėda.
The article discusses the historical events, which could affect the results. It is demonstrated that by integral health indicator – life expectancy –during the interwar period Lithuania was an “average” European country. However, after it was incorporated into the Soviet Union, life expectancy and other health indicators of its residents eventually worsened, compared with western European countries, just like in other countries of similar fate.
It is assumed that in case the development of Lithuania had not been roughly interrupted for several decades in the second half of the 20th century, the life expectancy and healthy life expectancy of its people could be significantly longer. Also, health indicators of elderly people could be comparable to those of contemporary Finland or Sweden.

Keywords


health; older age; life expectancy; healthy life expectancy

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789