Mental health declining among older U.S. adults, poor hardest hit

Friday, January 03, 2020 1:08 p.m. CST
By Lisa Rapaport

(Reuters Health) – Many older Americans have experienced more days of poor mental health in recent years, particularly individuals with limited income and education, a U.S. study suggests.

Researchers examined data on 2.4 million people aged 60 and older who participated in annual surveys between 2003 and 2017, answering questions about their general health and the number of days they experienced poor physical or mental health. Overall, 41% had household income of no more than $35,000 a year and 10% lacked a high school education.

During the study, the average number of days each month when people aged 60 to 64 experienced poor mental health rose from 2.9 to 3.6. That number climbed from 2.3 to 3.0 days for individuals 65 to 69 and from 2.2 to 2.4 days among those 70 to 74 years old.

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