The report highlights stark inequalities that result in a lengthening period of poor health for many towards the end of life. It finds shocking differences in healthy life expectancy amongst ethnic groups and in the most deprived groups, who spend almost 20 years longer in poor health than the least deprived. For women, the committee finds healthy life expectancy at birth has decreased in the past decade, while improvement in healthy ageing for men has stalled.
By the middle of this century those over 60 are set to outnumber the under 18s for the first time in human history, and promoting better health in old age will have huge benefits for the wider world as well as individuals. Improving the overall health just of older Americans, for example, could save enough money to pay for clean drinking water for everyone on Earth for the next 30 years (YouTube).