Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 154–161 | Cite as

Medical history, cognitive status and mobility at the age of 90. A population-based study in Tampere, Finland

  • Sirkka GoebelerEmail author
  • Marja Jylhä
  • Antti Hervonen
Original Articles


Background and aims: The oldest-old population is expanding rapidly. There is a new need for clinical information about this group, which is actively using social and health care. We studied the population of people born in 1907–1910 and living in the city of Tampere (Finland) at the age 90 (N=916, 79.4% women, 20.6% men); 71.7% of the population lived in the community and 28.3% in institutions. Methods: Medical records of 832 (90.8%) nonagenarians were obtained. We registered diagnoses of chronic diseases or diseases that required hospitalization at any time of their lives, as well as physicians’ notes on their memory and mobility. Diseases were coded and grouped according to ICD-10. Results: The most common diagnosis groups were cardiovascular diseases (78.3%), gastrointestinal diseases (58.6%), infections (53.6%) and trauma (49.6%). There was an average of 8 chronic or severe diseases mentioned in patient records. The diagnosis of dementia was mentioned in 26.7% of cases, most of them living in institutions; a problem with memory — from for-getfulness to dementia — was mentioned in 35.9% of cases; 37.5% were able to move using no or a light support, 8.3% were bedridden. Conclusions: We conclude that this age group suffers from numerous chronic diseases influencing mobility and cognition. Dementia seems to be the most important symptom leading to institutionalization.

Key words

Chronic disease cognition geriatric disease prevalence institutional care longevity mobility nonagenarians 


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Copyright information

© Springer Internal Publishing Switzerland 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sirkka Goebeler
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Marja Jylhä
    • 1
  • Antti Hervonen
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public HealthUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Department of Forensic MedicineTampere University HospitalTampereFinland

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