Glossaries in public health: older people

Bowling, A and Ebrahim, S (2001) Glossaries in public health: older people. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55(4), pp. 223-226. ISSN (print) 0143-005X


Humanity is growing older. The falls in mortality and fertility rates occurring in all but sub-Saharan African countries have brought the issue of population aging, and the associated changes in disease burdens and health care provision, into the limelight. Population aging represents one of the most profound social, health and economic challenges facing us. Research in this area has been under-valued and under-funded for decades but despite this, important concepts have been developed and a vocabulary has emerged that may be unfamiliar to scientists across different disciplines. Researchers in this area are drawn from a wide range of parent disciplines and bring a richness of research methods, but this may be confusing to the uninitiated. For these reasons, we think that a glossary of widely used terms may be of value to both scientists and policy makers, as well as to the new recruits and those who want to read and better understand our work.

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