Research estimating the impact of socio-economic and lifestyle factors on healthy aging across the US population. This study indexes the US states by looking at five core pillars that define healthy aging: demographics, economics, behavioral aspects, healthcare, and mental health.
Within the context of this study, healthy aging refers to the process of making lifestyle choices that promote health, well-being, and long-term independence, ensuring a better quality of life in older age.
The final results were calculated by looking at 25 interrelated variables that underpin the five core pillars of healthy aging. The final state ranking was determined by calculating the sum of the state subscores. The higher the state index score, the higher the level of healthy aging compared to other states.
Despite spending the most on healthcare in the world, the United States falls well behind other world leaders in life expectancy rankings. After a historic drop in 2020, life expectancy in the US took another alarming hit in 2021, mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And while life expectancy in other high-income countries has since increased, the overall life expectancy for the US population fell by almost 3 years (down to 76.1 years).
The blame for such poor rankings often falls on the US medical system. However, such measures also depend on a variety of socio-economic and behavioral factors that affect an individual’s health – diet, exercise, smoking, poverty, obesity, compliance with medical protocols, and many others. Up to date, multiple studies have, in fact, shown that a low-risk lifestyle can prolong life expectancy – and that most of these additional years of life are spent in good health.
As one of the leading health and wellness platforms in the industry – driven by the mission to help people lead healthier, longer, and more active lives – DoFasting was inspired to conduct its own study on healthy aging in the US.
The 2022 Healthy Aging Index is the first iteration of the study, aiming to highlight specific improvements that individual states could make to support a healthy aging population.
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The 2022 Healthy Aging Index is calculated in terms of five fundamental pillars: demographics, economics, behavioral aspects, healthcare, and mental health. Underpinning these pillars are 25 indicators (5 per pillar) that are interrelated and work together to provide an overall measure of healthy aging across the 50 US states.
Expenditure on chronic disease
Personal consumption expenditure
Sanitation and water supply
Each factor consists of one or more indicators that were scored and averaged. The equation for scoring is as follows:
For columns where a low value is better, the score is inverted such that a high score is always better:
Obtained z score dataset is normalized to a [0–4] scale, with 4 being the best score. Therefore, the higher the score, the better the state ranks compared to the other states.
The formula to normalize the data is min-max normalization:
The final score was determined by calculating the sum of the state subscores: