AGE

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 521–534

Predicting survival and morbidity-free survival to very old age

  • Rachel S. Newson
  • Jacqueline C. M. Witteman
  • Oscar H. Franco
  • Bruno H. C. Stricker
  • Monique M. B. Breteler
  • Albert Hofman
  • Henning Tiemeier
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11357-010-9154-8

Cite this article as:
Newson, R.S., Witteman, J.C.M., Franco, O.H. et al. AGE (2010) 32: 521. doi:10.1007/s11357-010-9154-8

Abstract

As life expectancy continually increases, it is imperative to identify determinants of survival to the extreme end of the lifespan and more importantly to identify factors that increase the chance of survival free of major morbidities. As such, the current study assessed 45 common disease factors as predictors of survival and morbidity-free survival to age 85 years. Within the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort, we evaluated morbidity-free participants who were able to attain age 85 within the study duration (n = 2,008). Risk factors were assessed at baseline (1990–1993), and mortality and morbidities were then collected continuously until mortality or the occurrence of their 85th birthday (average time of 7.9 years). Risk factors included demographic and lifestyle variables, health and morbidity indicators and physiological makers. Major morbidities examined included dementia, cancer, cerebrovascular accident, heart failure and myocardial infarction. Logistic regression analyses demonstrated that many of the variables were independently predictive for survival and for morbidity-free ageing to 85 years. These included being female, absence of left ventricular abnormalities, stable body weight, unimpaired instrumental activities of daily living, lower C-RP levels and higher levels of femoral neck bone mineral density and albumin. Relative to non-survival, predictors were stronger for morbidity-free survival than for total survival or survival with morbidity. This suggests that lifespan and healthy survival to older age can be relatively well predicted. Understanding predictors of a long and healthy lifespan is vital for developing primary and secondary preventions to help improve the quality of life of older adults and for reducing the financial burden of the rapidly escalating ageing population.

Keywords

Healthy ageing Oldest-old Risk factors Mortality Morbidity 

Copyright information

© American Aging Association, Media, PA, USA 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel S. Newson
    • 1
  • Jacqueline C. M. Witteman
    • 1
  • Oscar H. Franco
    • 3
    • 4
  • Bruno H. C. Stricker
    • 1
  • Monique M. B. Breteler
    • 1
  • Albert Hofman
    • 1
  • Henning Tiemeier
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of EpidemiologyErasmus University Medical CentreRotterdamthe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Child PsychiatryErasmus University Medical CentreRotterdamthe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of Public Health and Primary CareUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  4. 4.Unilever DiscoveryColworthUK

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