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

Article (PDF Available)inExperimental Aging Research 36(4):394-425 · October 2010with38 Reads
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.