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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2005 Sep;53(9 Suppl):S308-9.

The compression of morbidity hypothesis: a review of research and prospects for the future.

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  • 1Department of Community Health, Brown University Medical School, Providence, RI 02912, USA.


Cross-national evidence for the validity of the compression of morbidity hypothesis originally proposed by Fries is generally accepted. Generational improvements in education and the increased availability of adaptive technologies and even medical treatments that enhance quality of life have facilitated continued independence of older persons in the industrialized world. Whether this trend continues may depend upon the effect of the obesity epidemic on the next generation of older people.

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