Becoming centenarians: disease and functioning trajectories of older US Adults as they survive to 100.

TitleBecoming centenarians: disease and functioning trajectories of older US Adults as they survive to 100.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsAilshire, JA, Beltrán-Sánchez, H, Crimmins, EM
JournalJ Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
Volume70
Issue2
Pagination193-201
Date Published2015 Feb
ISSN Number1758-535X
KeywordsActivities of Daily Living, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Chronic disease, Cognition, Disability Evaluation, Educational Status, Female, Geriatric Assessment, Health Status, Health Surveys, Humans, Longevity, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Marital Status, Prospective Studies, Sex Factors, United States
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the health and functioning of individuals who become centenarians in the years prior to reaching age 100. We examined long-term trajectories of disease, disability, and cognitive function in a sample of U.S. centenarians to determine how their aging experience differs from their nonsurviving cohort counterparts, and if there is heterogeneity in the aging experience of centenarians.

METHODS: Data are from the 1993-2010 waves of the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study. Among those who had the potential to become centenarians, we identified 1,045 respondents who died before reaching age 100 and 96 who survived to their 100th birthday. Respondents, or their proxies, reported on diagnosis of six major diseases (hypertension, heart disease, lung disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes), limitations in activities of daily living, and cognitive function.

RESULTS: As they age to 100, centenarians are generally healthier than nonsurviving members of their cohort, and a number of individuals who become centenarians reach 100 with no self-reported diseases or functional impairments. About 23% of centenarians reached age 100 with no major chronic disease and approximately the same number had no disability (18%). Over half (55%) reached 100 without cognitive impairment. Disease and functioning trajectories of centenarians differ by sex, education, and marital status.

CONCLUSIONS: While some centenarians have poor health and functioning upon reaching age 100, others are able to achieve exceptional longevity in relatively good health and without loss of functioning. This study underscores the importance of examining variation in the growing centenarian population.

URLhttp://biomedgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/70/2/193.abstract
DOI10.1093/gerona/glu124
User Guide Notes

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25136001?dopt=Abstract

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci
Citation Key8294
PubMed ID25136001
PubMed Central IDPMC4311187
Grant ListU01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
T32 AG000037 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K99AG039528 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30AG17265 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
T32AG0037 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30 AG017265 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R00 AG039528 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
K99 AG039528 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States