Healthy Life Years and Social Engagement

  • Dorly J. H. DeegEmail author
  • Marie-Louise Boertje
  • Henrike Galenkamp


Deeg and colleagues observe that since 2007 healthy life expectancy has not increased across European countries. Combined with the observation that total life expectancy has shown increases, this means that older people on average will spend more years in poor health. People in poorer health generally participate less in social activities than those in better health. Therefore, the question is addressed what is needed for older people in poor health to stay active in society. Using cross-European surveys, individual factors related to social engagement showed only minimal differences between older people in poor and in good health. Efforts at meso- and macro-level to improve the infrastructure for social engagement were identified. Expanding these may be more promising than focusing on individual factors to increase social engagement in older people in poor health.


Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) Long-term Activity Limitation Global Activity Limitation Indicator (GALI) Survey Of Health, Ageing And Retirement In Europe (SHARE) Foster Social Participation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorly J. H. Deeg
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marie-Louise Boertje
    • 1
    • 2
  • Henrike Galenkamp
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Epidemiology and BiostatisticsVU University Medical CenterAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Amsterdam Public Health Research InstituteAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Public Health, Academic Medical CenterUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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