13 facts and statistics on Baby Boomers for spine surgeons to know

Practice Management

Here are 13 facts and statistics about the Baby Boomer patient population for spine surgeons to know.

1. One in five Americans is projected to be 65 years old or older by 2030. This data is gathered from the U.S. census report, “The Baby Boom Cohort in the United States: 2012 to 2060.”


2. The demographics for baby boomers in the United States by 2030 includes:


• White alone: 48.9 million people, 81 percent of baby boomers
• Black alone: 6.5 million people, 10.9 percent of baby boomers
• Asian alone: 2.9 million, 4.9 percent of baby boomers
• Non-Hispanic white alone: 42.9 million people, 71 percent of baby boomers
• Hispanic: 6.6 million people, 11.1 percent of baby boomers


3. While the baby boomer population is large, it will decline as baby boomers age over the next few decades. There were just under 77 million when the first baby boomers turned 65 years old in 2011. By 2030, the number of baby boomers is expected to drop to 60 million when baby boomers will be between 66 to 84 years old, according to the U.S. government census.


4. Around 59 percent of baby boomers rely heavily on Social Security in 2015, up from 43 percent in 2014, according to the Insured Retirement Institute. Around 45 percent report not having retirement savings and 30 percent postponed their retirement, according to the report. Another 30 percent of baby boomers stopped contributing to their retirement.


5. The Urban Institute reported 44 percent of adults 65 years old and older have debt and around 25 percent of all adult retirees entered retirement with mortgage debt. The average debt amount was $24,500 in 2012, according to the report. There are 55.5 million Medicare beneficiaries in the United States, according to 2015 data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The states with the highest number of Medicare beneficiaries are:


• California: 5.6 million
• Florida: 4 million
• Texas: 3.6 million
• New York: 3.3 million
• Pennsylvania: 2.5 million
• Ohio: 2.1 million
• Illinois: 2 million
• Michigan: 1.8 million
• North Carolina: 1.7 million
• Georgia: 1.5 million
• New Jersey: 1.4 million
• Virginia: 1.3 million
• Massachusetts: 1.2 million
• Tennessee: 1.2 million


7. According to the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, there were 53.5 million people with Medicare Part A — 44.6 million of which are aged — and 49.3 million with Part B in 2014. There are 16.2 million people with Medicare Part C (Medicare Advantage) and 40.5 million with Medicare Part D.


8. The rate for back pain visits in the United States was 40.8 per 100 people among the 65 to 74 year old population. Among the 75 years and older population, 36.8 per 100 people report back pain visits, according to The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases in the United States. Around 50 percent of people age 45 to 64 years old with back pain said they lost work days due to spine pain or problems.


9. Around 20.5 percent of people discharged from the hospital with spinal fusions were 45 to 64 years old; 17.4 percent were 65 to 74 years old in 2011, according to The Burden of Musculoskeletal Diseases.


10. In 2012, the population aged 45 to 64 years old self-reporting musculoskeletal conditions reported:


• Chronic joint pain: 35.3 per 100 persons
• Arthritis: 29.5 per 100 persons
• Neck pain: 18.3 per 100 persons
• Low back pain: 32.3 per 100 persons
• Low back pain spreading below the knee: 13.6 per 100 persons


11. Around 23 percent of low back pain physician visits are from patients 65 years old or older, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Additionally, the National Center for Health Statistics reported more than 750,000 hospital discharges for patients with low back pain over the age of 65 in 2004, as reported by Spine-health.


12. Around 80 percent of the 750,000 vertebral compress ion fractures treated annually, a are treated in patients 65 years and older. Women are diagnosed with VCF 77 percent of the time, according to the Spine-health article.


13. Around 50 percent of the nearly 250,000 decompressive surgical procedures performed each year are performed on patients 65 years old or older, according to Spine-health.

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