Census: More Americans Living Past Age 90

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The latest United States Census revealed the number of Americans over the age of 90 has tripled since 1980.

The aging trend among millions of Americans will likely pose unique health challenges and add to rising government costs for the strained Medicare and Social Security programs.

Currently, there are approximately 1.9 million Americans over the age of 90 and that number is expected to grow to 8.7 million in the next 40 years.

It's a big change from over a century ago, when fewer than 100,000 people reached the milestone of fourscore and 10.

Folks in the over 90 age group are projected to account for one in every 10 older Americans by 2050.

Medical analysts attribute the increased number of people in the 90-plus age group mostly to better nutrition and advances in medical care that have reduced heart disease and stroke.

But the longer life spans present a fresh set of challenges for disabilities and chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease.

"A key issue for this population will be whether disability rates can be reduced," said Richard Suzman, director of behavioral and social research at the National Institute on Aging.

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