DENVER (CBS4) – CBS4 has begun a weekly series focusing on issues facing baby boomers. First up — their health and the milestone that no other generation has reached.
On the surface it sounds good, but living longer doesn’t mean healthier living. Every generation likes to think it’s healthier than the one that came before it, but baby boomers can no longer make that claim. Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964 and there are 78 million of them living in the country.
According to the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” while baby boomers are living longer, there is a presumption that boomers are the healthiest generation. But the truth is while some are living longer due to healthy living, other boomers are living longer because they’re relying on medicine. In essence, they’re living longer with a greater burden of chronic disease and more disability.
The biggest ailment of the boomer generation is hypertension or high blood pressure, which is primarily due to being overweight and obesity. Thirty-five percent of those in the previous generation had high blood pressure, while more than 75 percent of baby boomers do. That’s despite greater awareness today, as well as better screening methods and treatments.
Seven percent of those born in the baby boom use a cane or other device to help them walk, compared to 3 percent in the previous generation. Thirteen percent of boomers have some limitations in their ability to perform their everyday tasks, such as walk up a flight of stairs compared to 8.8 percent of those in the earlier generation.
The study also found those of the baby boomer generation have become overly dependent on medication and surgical solutions rather than creating good health solutions.