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Ageism Costs Billions in Health Care Dollars

By Robert Preidt

THURSDAY, Nov. 15, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Prejudice directed at older people results in $63 billion in excess health costs each year in the United States, a new study claims.

Ageism, which is the marginalization of the elderly in society, accounts for one of every seven dollars spent on the eight most expensive health conditions for Americans older than 60. Those conditions include heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and mental health disorders.

The researchers also found that ageism was linked with 17 million cases of those eight health conditions in one year.

"Ageism is one of the least visible prejudices," said study author Becca Levy, a professor at the Yale University School of Public Health.

"Our study helps to increase the visibility of ageism by looking at its consequences," she added in a Yale news release.

The study was published online Nov. 13 in the journal The Gerontologist.

"Our findings make a strong case for efforts aimed at reducing the epidemic of ageism, which produces not only a financial cost for society, but also a human cost for the well-being of older persons," Levy said.

In previous research, Levy and colleagues found that ageism harms the health of seniors because it can create stress, which affects many types of health outcomes.

More information

The World Health Organization has more on ageism.

SOURCE: Yale University, news release, Nov. 13, 2018

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=739610

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
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