Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68 Page 69 Page 70 Page 71 Page 72 Page 73 Page 74 Page 75 Page 76 Page 77 Page 78 Page 79 Page 80 Page 81 Page 82 Page 83 Page 84 Page 85 Page 86 Page 87 Page 88 Page 89 Page 90 Page 91 Page 92 Page 93 Page 94 Page 95 Page 96 Page 97 Page 98 Page 99 Page 100 Page 101 Page 102 Page 103 Page 104 Page 105 Page 106 Page 107 Page 108AGING IN THE 21S T CENTURY 74 An important aspect of health behaviors is that different countries are at different stages of adopting health habits. For example, current elderly cohorts in the US are more likely to have ever smoked than European cohorts. In 2004, Europeans were more likely to be current smokers than Americans, but the percentage of former smokers is significantly higher in the US than in Europe (Michaud et al. 2011). Comparative data in Mexico have also allowed researchers to compare the impact of the transitioning health risks in relatively low- and high-income countries. Monteverde et al. (2010) assess the magnitude of excess mortality due to obesity and overweight in Mexico and the US using two waves of HRS and MHAS. In both countries, excess body weight is a significant risk factor for death among those aged 60 and older, but the mortality risk associated with obesity is much larger in Mexico than in the US. Despite the fact that Americans with higher BMI have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases than their Mexican counterparts, mortality associated with these diseases is higher in Mexico. Part of this disparity could be due to better treatment of disease in the US. The US may be further along in a transition from less to more healthy lifestyles associated with social and economic development. Transitions in smoking and physical activity are moving toward healthier lifestyles among older adults in the US, but not in Mexico (Wong et al. 2008). The percentage of men currently smoking in Mexico in 2001 is 27%, but only 15.6% in the US. The percent of former smokers in Mexico is 64% and 72% in the US. In Mexico, those with more schooling are more likely to smoke whereas schooling is negatively associated with smoking in the US. A trend toward reduced levels of obesity appears to have begun in the US, but not in Mexico. Despite this, there appears to be a higher level of onset and development of disability over a two-year period in the US (Gerst-Emerson et al. 2015). Other research uses these data resources to investigate the well-documented paradox of better-than-expected health among Hispanics in the US despite lower SES on average than non-Hispanic whites. Aguila et al. (2013) explores the possibility that Mexicans in the US return to Mexico due to poor health as an explanation for the health paradox. They compare the health of Mexicans living in the US and Mexico from the 2003 wave of MHAS and the 2004 HRS. The evidence is mixed across health outcomes and does not provide a ready explanation for the Hispanic health paradox. Differences in Cognitive Functioning In contrast to the finding that physical health is worse in the US than in England, Americans appear to have better cognitive functioning than their English counterparts (Langa et al. 2009). Americans score significantly higher on delayed recall and somewhat higher on the measure of immediate recall. Comparing cognitive function of those aged 65 to 74 years to the oldest group (85 and older), the cross-country differences are especially large for the oldest old — comparable to about 10 years of aging. This is surprising given that US adults have a significantly higher prev- alence of cardiovascular disease and risk factors like hypertension which are significant risks for cognitive decline. Part of the explanation for these differences may be higher levels of educa- tion and wealth in the US compared to England. Americans are also more likely than the English to be taking medications for hypertension, which can lower risk of stroke and may help cognitive function. A similar comparative study uses more recent data from the 2010 wave of HRS and ELSA, and includes information from the first wave of TILDA Americans are also more likely than the English to be taking medications for hypertension, which can lower risk of stroke and may help cognitive function.