Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 212–221

Multidimensional health assessment of 75- and 80-year-old men and women: A five-year prospective study

Authors

    • Health Center of the City of Jyväskylä
    • The Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, Department of Health SciencesUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Pertti Era
    • The Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, Department of Health SciencesUniversity of Jyväskylä
    • Brain Research and Rehabilitation Center NEURON
  • Raija Leinonen
    • The Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, Department of Health SciencesUniversity of Jyväskylä
  • Eino Heikkinen
    • The Finnish Center for Interdisciplinary Gerontology, Department of Health SciencesUniversity of Jyväskylä
Section on Longitudinal Studies

DOI: 10.1007/BF03324502

Cite this article as:
Laukkanen, P., Era, P., Leinonen, R. et al. Aging Clin Exp Res (2003) 15: 212. doi:10.1007/BF03324502

Abstract

Background and aims: There are no earlier reports of regular multidimensional health check programs in elderly people. The aim of this study was to establish the number and type of previously unrecognized health conditions in two cohorts of elderly people examined twice during a 5-year period, and to determine how these conditions were subsequently evaluated and treated. Methods: This population-based study, carried out at a university research center in Finland, consisted of a multidimensional and multiphased health assessment including interviews, health questionnaires and medical examinations and tests, and follow-up of subsequent examinations and treatment. Participants were all 75- (N=388) and 80-year-old (N=291) people residing in the city of Jyväskylä in 1989 and 1990 respectively. Results: A total of 780 health assessments were carried out, 500 at baseline and 280 five years later. Large numbers of previously unrecognized conditions were found on both occasions, ranging from tumors to impacted cerumen. At baseline, 180 persons (36% of those assessed) were referred for further examinations or treatment, at follow-up 127 (4:5%). Half of the referred persons received treatment, 13–39% were evaluated but not treated. For 12–33%, no information was obtained on post-hoc events. Conclusions: Comprehensive health assessments in older people reveal a large number of previously unrecognized conditions that require further examination and/or treatment, suggesting the need for systematic and regular assessments of health and functional capacity.

Keywords

Elderlyfunctional capacityhealth assessmentlongitudinal studypreventionprimary health care

Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2003