Trend in Disability-Free Life Expectancies in France: Younger, Older, Men or Women, Who Benefitted Most?

Emmanuelle Cambois, INED
Amélie Carrère, Université Paris Dauphine
Jean-Marie Robine, EPHE

Although disability-free life expectancies (DFLE) in France have followed a rather favourable trend over 1990’s, the early 2000’s were characterized by an unexpected expansion of the years lived with activity restrictions; this expansion was concentrated at the end of the working ages. This pattern was more pronounced for women than for men. It was also found that a number of baby-boomer generations in France did not benefit as much as the previous and next generations from the mortality decline. In this paper, we present the 25 year trend in DFLE for France, exploring the trends and patterns across age groups and genders.

Trends in DFLE were assessed using six population surveys. Several dimensions of disability are measured based on the framework of the disablement process: (1) sensory (FL_S); physical (FL_P); and cognitive (FL_C) functional limitations, and (2) long-term global activity limitations (RA_GAL); restriction in elementary activities of daily living (RA_ADL); restriction in instrumental activities of daily living (RA_IADL). Disability-free life expectancies (DFLE) were computed for each category and each available years using Sullivan method. We presented the estimates at age 50 and 65 and partial DFLE in the 50-64 age range.

Trends in various DFLEs in France indicated less favourable trends in the first decade of 2000 than in the 1990’s regarding activity restrictions. After an unexpected expansion of the disability years in the early 2000’s, we observed a new increase in some DFLE in the most recent years, however not as important as the increase in LE. The expansion of disability was therefore prolonged in the early 2010’s, with the exception of cognitive limitations. The gender gap was still large for all disability dimensions especially physical functional limitations and IADL restrictions. We discuss these trends and patterns in the light of possible effect of generations.

Presented in Session 22: Mortality Trends in High(er) Income Countries