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10th Annual America’s Health Rankings Senior Report

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America’s Health Rankings released the 10th annual America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report which reviews the past decade of data to provide a comprehensive look at the health of older Americans, capturing key trends, challenges and areas of progress.

The Senior Report examines 62 measures from 21 unique sources to provide a comprehensive look at the health and well-being of older Americans. The data demonstrate:

  • Trends that reflect the changing health of our nation’s 65 and older population over the past decade.
  • The impact that social, economic, environmental and other factors have on the health of older Americans.
  • Disparities in health among older Americans by geography, education level, income level, gender,
    age and race and ethnicity.

The data in the 10th annual America’s Health Rankings® Senior Report show promising improvements in flu vaccination, self-reported health status and oral health. However, these signs of tangible progress were tempered by decade-long challenges and wide disparities in mortality and behavioral health. Most notably, the drug death rate among Americans ages 65 and older doubled over the last decade.

Meanwhile, the report finds that a decade of continuous progress in reducing mortality among those ages
65-74 was upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in a dramatic spike in the early death rate that
disproportionately affected older Americans of color. While public health efforts have made great strides in combating the pandemic — 88.9% of adults ages 65 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of mid-March, 2022 — there remains work to be done, as only 66.8% of fully vaccinated adults ages 65 and older have received a booster dose of any COVID-19 vaccine.

The majority of the measures included in the report feature data from 2020 or later, providing some insight into the preliminary effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on seniors’ health and well-being — although further analysis in future Senior Reports will be necessary to more clearly understand the impact of the public health crisis on this population.

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