The results of a recent UCLA study suggest that more men and women entering their 60s are disabled than in previous generations.
Researchers found that a percentage of individuals between the ages of 60 and 69 showed increasing signs of a disability over time. The results of the study also showed that fewer seniors between the ages of 70 and 79 showed significant signs of a developing disability.
"Increases in disability in that group are concerning because it's a big group," said Teresa Seeman of UCLA.
"These may be people who have longer histories of being overweight, and we may be seeing the consequences of that. We're not sure why these disabilities are going up. But if this trend continues, it could have a major impact on us, due to the resources that will have to be devoted to those people."
The researchers discovered that disabilities were at least 40 percent more prevalent in seniors who were in their 60s between 1999 and 2004 than in those who were in the same age range between 1988 and 1994.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the number of Americans who will suffer functional disability because of a health problem will increase by at least 300 percent by the year 2049.