As people age, they are much less likely to fall victim to a single isolated disease. Instead, competing causes of death more directly associated with biological aging cluster within individuals as they approach later ages. These conditions elevate mortality risk, as well as create the frailty and disability profile that can accompany old age. Th USC Roybal Center for Health Policy Simulation models these complex dynamics and predicts how social policy and social forces will affect the welfare of current and future generations of th elderly. Our thematic emphasis is on 'Novel methods for analyzing programs affecting older populations.'The goals are to: 1. Research the determinants of health and health spending among older populations;2. Develop models to understand the consequences of social policy, social forces, and biomedicine for health, health spending, and health care delivery;and 3. Translate these findings for policy makers who influence aging policy. For the current renewal, we will continue our translational efforts to elevate aging policy discussions in two areas of emphasis: Theme 1: Policies to Mitigate the Social Consequences of Health Disparities;and Theme 2: International Lessons for U.S. Aging Policy. Our preliminary work suggests that focusing research in these areas has the potential for improving the health and well-being of older people, and that these are areas for which both researchers and policy-makers should devote more attention. Dissemination to Federal agencies in the United States, international government, and online continues to be a strength of our Center, and a focus of our renewal efforts. To reach these goals, our two proposed cores will continue our best practices to ensure that novel findings and tools are disseminated to decision makers in industry, clinical settings, and the government, and that the research programs are developed in directions which ensure independent funding. The Management and Administrative Core will provide visionary leadership and effective management, while the Pilot Core will select projects leveraging the Center's existing research and the broad range of research being conducted among a large network of collaborators. We will also continue to make our models and programming core available to researchers from around the world.
Chronic illness imposes a substantial burden on the elderly, which will be further exacerbated in younger cohorts. Not only will the number of elderly 65 years of age or older double in the next 25 years, the constellation of disease and disability could be much greater. Existing preventive practices and services could alleviate some of this burden by eliminating or forestalling expensive diseases, but improvements in health allow the elderly to live longer and accrue more expenses and ultimately incur more health care costs.
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