Cognitive Function, Physical Performance, Health, and Disease: Norms From the Georgia Centenarian Study

Department of Public Health, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19122, USA.
Experimental Aging Research (Impact Factor: 0.92). 10/2010; 36(4):394-425. DOI: 10.1080/0361073X.2010.509010
Source: PubMed


This study provides, for the first time, normative data on cognitive functioning and physical performance, health and health behaviors, and diseases from a population-based sample of 244 centenarians and near-centenarians (M age = 100.5 years, range 98-108, 84.8% women, 21.3% African American) from the Georgia Centenarian Study. Data are presented by the four key dimensions of gender, race, residence, and educational attainment. Results illustrate the profound range of functioning in this age group and indicate considerable differences as a function of each dimension. Bivariate models generally suggest that cognitive functioning and physical performance is higher for men than women; whites than African Americans; community than facility residents; and those with more than high school education than those with less than high school education. Multivariate models elaborate that differences in educational attainment generally account for the largest proportion of variance in cognitive functioning and residential status generally accounts for the largest proportion of variance in physical performance measures. Addition of health variables seldom increases variance accounted for in each domain beyond these four dimensions.

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Available from: Dorothy Hausman, Jan 15, 2014
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    • "Studies comparing energy intakes and dietary intake patterns of centenarians to younger older adult cohorts have generally observed lower energy and/or fat intake in the centenarians, while dietary preferences of centenarians are considerably more varied and dependent of the region of study likely reflecting cultural patterns and cohort differences rather than longevity-related differences per se (reviewed [12]). Nonetheless, there can be considerable variation of body weight status within a given group of centenarians [13], though to our knowledge the extent to which this may be associated with potential differences in dietary intake patterns or selected health conditions has not been explored. Thus, the objectives of this study were to explore associations (1) between BMI and dietary habits and (2) between underweight or overweight/obesity and health status in a population-based multiethnic sample of centenarians (98 years and above) from northern Georgia in the USA. "
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    ABSTRACT: Associations between body mass index (BMI) and dietary patterns and health conditions were explored in a population-based multiethnic sample of centenarians from northern Georgia. BMI ≤20 and ≥25 was prevalent in 30.9% and 25.3% of study participants, respectively. In a series of logistic regression analyses controlled for gender and place of residence, the probability of having BMI ≥25 was increased by being black versus white and having a low citrus fruit, noncitrus fruit, orange/yellow vegetable or total fruit and vegetable intake. The probability of having BMI ≤20 was not associated with dietary intake. When controlled for race, gender, residence, and total fruit and vegetable intake, BMI ≥25 was an independent risk factor for diabetes or having a systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg, whereas BMI ≤20 was a risk factor for anemia. Given the many potential adverse consequences of under- and overweight, efforts are needed to maintain a healthy weight, even in the oldest old.
    Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of aging research
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    • "Exploring the centenarian phenotype has been of great interest, and understanding aging-related phenotypes has taken on new importance for the gerontological research agenda [40] [41] [42]. Multiple studies (we introduce a few examples and concentrate on review papers) of centenarians have helped quantify and characterize the phenotype of exceptional survivors in terms of aging biomarkers, biochemistry, nutritional status and anthropometry [43] [44] [45] [46] [47], inflammation [48] [49] [50], cardiovascular risk profiles [51], physical and cognitive functioning [52] [53] [54] [55] [56] [57], morbidity profiles [58], personality traits [59], among other aging-related phenotypes [42] [60]. Psychosocial studies have shown that adaptation to the challenges of aging is also a key protective factor for healthy aging and longevity (see a review of key findings in this special issue, by L. W. Poon et al., (2010). "

    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010 · Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
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    ABSTRACT: Centenarians display a broad variation in physical abilities, from independence to bed-bound immobility. This range of abilities makes it difficult to evaluate functioning using a single instrument. Using data from a population-based sample of 244 centenarians (M(Age) = 100.57 years, 84.8% women, 62.7% institutionalized, and 21.3% African American) and 80 octogenarians (M(Age) = 84.32 years, 66.3% women, 16.3% institutionalized, and 17.5% African American) we (1) provide norms on the Short Physical Performance Battery and (2) extend the range of this scale using performance on additional tasks and item response theory (IRT) models, reporting information on concurrent and predictive validity of this approach. Using the original SPPB scoring criteria, 73.0% of centenarian men and 86.0% of centenarian women are identified as severely impaired by the scale's original classification scheme. Results suggest that conventional norms for older adults need substantial revision for centenarian populations and that item response theory methods can be helpful to address floor and ceiling effects found with any single measure.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
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