Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 90, Issue 5, pp 338–342 | Cite as

Health, Function and Survival of a Cohort of Very Old Canadians: Results from the Second Wave of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging

  • David B. HoganEmail author
  • Tak S. Fung
  • Erika M. Ebly


Seniors 85 years of age and older (85+) make up the fastest-growing segment of the Canadian population. There is a need for longitudinal data on the health status of this group. We used data collected as part of the Canadian Study of Health and Aging to examine how health status changed over five years in a large (n=1799) cohort of Canadians 85+. By the time of the follow-up assessment, 60.1% had died and 33.9% of those who had been residing in the community when the cohort was initially formed had been institutionalized. Most (79.2%) of the community survivors felt that their health had stayed the same or improved, even though over two thirds (67.9%) reported a decline in their functional abilities. Potential predictors of both good and adverse outcomes were explored. While disease prevention, health promotion and environmental modifications may decrease the personal and societal impacts of these age-associated findings, health care planning for the very old should take these data into account.


Les personnes âgées de 85 ans et plus (85 +) constituent le segment de la population canadienne dont la croissance est la plus rapide. Il existe un besoin de données longitudinales sur l’état de santé de ce groupe. Nous nous sommes servis de données recueillies dans le cadre de l’Étude canadienne sur la santé et le vieillissement pour étudier comment l’état de santé d’une important cohorte (N = 1 799) de Canadiens âgés de 85 ans et plus avait changé sur cinq ans. Au moment de l’évaluation de suivi, 60,1 % d’entre eux étaient décédés et 33,9 % de ceux qui résidaient dans la collectivité au moment de la constitution de la cohorte avaient été placés en institutions. La plupart (79,2 %) des survivants estimaient que leur santé n’avait pas changé ou s’était améliorée, même si plus de deux tiers d’entre eux (67,9 %) déclaraient constater une diminution de leurs capacités fonctionnelles. On a étudié les prédicteurs potentiels de résultats positifs et négatifs. Bien que la prévention de la maladie, la promotion de la santé et les modifications de l’environnement puissent faire diminuer l’impact personnel et social de ces résultats associés à l’âge, la planification des soins de santé pour les personnes très âgées devrait prendre en considération ces données.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Hogan
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Tak S. Fung
    • 3
  • Erika M. Ebly
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MedicineUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Department of Clinical NeurosciencesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of University Computing ServicesUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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