From a public health perspective, health status needs to be defined in terms of aspects of health that can be addressed by the public health system and that are relevant to those who are the primary targets of public health interventions--namely, the more disadvantaged segments of the older population such as those of lower socioeconomic status and ethnic minorities. Issues in defining health are basically similar for older and younger populations, with the exception of issues pertaining to the increased diversity in health in older populations.
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