The CPC Seminar Series takes place between October and June, all seminars are free to attend and no registration is required. If you would like to present please contact

England's post war birth cohorts: living longer, but are they healthier?

26th May 2016 1pm, Ladywell House, Edinburgh, Room 1/G/8

Dr Stephen Jivraj, University College London

Despite improvements in life expectancy in many countries, there is uncertainty whether increase in years of healthy life expectancy has kept pace. This paper explores whether there is empirical support for the expansion of morbidity hypothesis using a range of subjective and objective health outcomes for English post war born cohorts. Repeated annual cross-sections are taken from the Health Survey for England, 1993-2013. Synthetic cohorts born between 1945 and 1980 are compared at the same age using logistic regression. The models are stratified by gender, and control for age, education and interaction terms in three steps. We find that younger post-war birth cohorts have poorer or similar health at the same age according to self-assessed general health, diagnosed hypertension (in men only), diagnosed and clinical diabetes, coronary heart disease (in men only) and BMI. The gaps within post-war birth cohorts are widening between social groups, especially in women. Our findings lend support to the expansion of morbidity hypothesis and point to an increased future demand for certain healthcare services at younger ages and from those groups who are least able to help themselves. This will have notable implications for public healthcare providers as the current working age population enters retirement.