Article

Transitions among Health States Using 12 Measures of Successful Aging in Men and Women: Results from the Cardiovascular Health Study

Department of Psychiatry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA
Journal of aging research 10/2012; 2012(4):243263. DOI: 10.1155/2012/243263
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT . Successful aging has many dimensions, which may manifest differently in men and women at different ages.
Methods
. We characterized one-year transitions among health states in 12 measures of successful aging among adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study. The measures included self-rated health, ADLs, IADLs, depression, cognition, timed walk, number of days spent in bed, number of blocks walked, extremity strength, recent hospitalizations, feelings about life as a whole, and life satisfaction. We dichotomized variables into “healthy” or “sick,” states, and estimated the prevalence of the healthy state and the probability of transitioning from one state to another, or dying, during yearly intervals. We compared men and women and three age groups (65–74, 75–84, and 85–94).
Findings
. Measures of successful aging showed similar results by gender. Most participants remained healthy even into advanced ages, although health declined for all measures. Recuperation, although less common with age, still occurred frequently. Men had a higher death rate than women regardless of health status, and were also more likely to remain in the healthy state.
Discussion.
The results suggest a qualitatively different experience of successful aging between men and women. Men did not simply “age faster” than women.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Paula Katherine Hagedorn Diehr, Sep 03, 2015
0 Followers
 · 
78 Views
 · 
25 Downloads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With population ageing, there is an increased interest in how to promote a good old age. A predominant concept in these discussions is successful ageing, which is mainly based on researchers' definitions. This article aims to explore successful ageing from the perspective of community-dwelling older people (24 persons aged 77-90 years). Individual open interviews were conducted and analysed according to qualitative content analysis. An overarching theme was formulated as "self-respect through ability to keep fear of frailty at a distance". This embraced the content of four categories: "having sufficient bodily resources for security and opportunities", "structures that promote security and opportunities", "feeling valuable in relation to the outside world", and "choosing gratitude instead of worries". Ageing seems to be a dynamic process rather than a static structure and might therefore be susceptible to actions. Paying attention to attitudes and treating the older person with respect, particularly with regard to worries about increasing vulnerability, can lead to better ways of promoting successful ageing.
    International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being 03/2013; 8:1-10. DOI:10.3402/qhw.v8i0.20194 · 0.93 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Chronic musculoskeletal pain is common in older adults but the nature of its relationship with ageing is unclear. The objective for this study was to test the hypothesis that the onset of widespread pain would be associated with a decrease in healthy ageing. Population-based prospective cohort study. A "healthy ageing" index was constructed across biomedical, physical, psychosocial and lay components. Analysis was performed with 2949 adults aged 50 years and over who had complete index scores at baseline, 3 and 6-year follow-ups. At three and six year follow-up, 365 (16.8%) and 259 (14.3%) experienced the onset of widespread pain. The onset of widespread pain during the six-year period was associated with a 25% and a 46% decrease in healthy ageing index scores; this decrease was independent of age, sex, education, social networks, smoking status, alcohol consumption and physical inactivity. The decrease in healthy ageing attenuated to 20% and 39% following adjustment for diagnosed musculoskeletal conditions and analgesic and non-steroidal use. The onset of widespread pain was associated with a decrease in healthy ageing throughout the six-year period. When pain increased over time, the markers of unhealthy ageing increased also. Strong analgesia was associated with unhealthy ageing. Research could now usefully test whether early identification, improved treatment and prevention of pain prior to old age may facilitate healthy ageing.
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e59858. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0059858 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The health of older adults declines over time, but there are many ways of measuring health. It is unclear whether all health measures decline at the same rate or whether some aspects of health are less sensitive to aging than others. METHODS: We compared the decline in 13 measures of physical, mental, and functional health from the Cardiovascular Health Study: hospitalization, bed days, cognition, extremity strength, feelings about life as a whole, satisfaction with the purpose of life, self-rated health, depression, digit symbol substitution test, grip strength, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed. Each measure was standardized against self-rated health. We compared the 5-year change to see which of the 13 measures declined the fastest and the slowest. RESULTS: The 5-year change in standardized health varied from a decline of 12 points (out of 100) for hospitalization to a decline of 17 points for gait speed. In most comparisons, standardized health from hospitalization and bed days declined the least, whereas health measured by activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed declined the most. These rankings were independent of age, sex, mortality patterns, and the method of standardization. CONCLUSIONS: All of the health variables declined, on average, with advancing age, but at significantly different rates. Standardized measures of mental health, cognition, quality of life, and hospital utilization did not decline as fast as gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living. Public health interventions to address problems with gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living may help older adults to remain healthier in all dimensions.
    The Journals of Gerontology Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 05/2013; 68(9). DOI:10.1093/gerona/glt038 · 4.98 Impact Factor
Show more