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[Comment] China’s oldest-old—prospects for good health in late life

Not all the years of old age are lived fully, even when physical losses are small. Because mortality is falling in most countries1 (although Russia has been an exception and so, in 2015, was the USA),2 it is important to understand how much of that greater longevity is likely to be spent in good health. In The Lancet, Yi Zeng and colleagues3 compare 19 528 of the oldest-old (people aged 80–105 years born between 1893 and 1928, divided into three groups aged 80–89 years, 90–99 years, and 100–105 years) from the 1998 and 2008 iterations of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Study.

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