The oldest Americans are doing better than those between the ages of 55 and 64, according to a new study of aging trends funded by the National Institute on Aging and researched by several U.S. universities and think tanks.

Americans between the ages of 65 and 84 are experiencing the same level of disabilities as they did at the start of the 21st Century, the study found.

We were surprised to find that baby boomers aren’t doing better,” she said. “Their level of disability is still low compared to older Americans, but it was a full percentage point higher—five instead of four percent—compared to people of that same age 10 years ago.

That may not seem like much of an increase, but, in fact, it represents about 365,000 more people who are having difficulty or who are unable to carry out basic personal care activities and activities central to living independently. This trend will be important to watch down the road because of the impact it may have on America’s families and on public health care programs.”

While the study did not assess the reasons for these increases, Freedman notes that others have found that rising rates of obesity and attendant health risks among the young old could account for some of the increase.