Active life expectancy among elderly Japanese

I. Tsuji, Y. Minami, A. Fukao, S. Hisamichi, H. Asano, M. Sato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background. This study estimated the active life expectancy (ALE) among the elderly in a Japanese urban society to determine whether or not the Japanese live long lives at the expense of life quality. Methods. Survival and ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) were followed up on a probability sample (n = 3,459) of the aged people living in Sendai City, Japan, between 1988 and 1991. ALE was calculated by an increment-decrement life table method. Results. At age 65, ALE was 14.7 years for men and 17.7 years for women. The duration of active life occupied 91% of the total life expectancy for men and 87% for women. These values were further compared with those reported for the elderly in the United States. ALE among the Japanese subjects was longer than that among the American elderly. The percentage of remaining life that was active was comparable with that in the U hired States. However, the interpretation of the results requires caution because of the difficulty in comparing self-reported disabilities across cultures. Conclusion. The authors conclude that it is premature at this time to judge which country, is better in terms of functional status among the elderly. An international comparison of ALE would create an opportunity to evaluate and promote health and function of the elderly population worldwide. For this purpose, an international standardization of ALE measurement is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)M173-M176
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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