Factors Correlating With Survival to Age 90 From Age 70

I noticed this study today which reinforces the well-known correlation between wealth and longevity, but more strongly reinforces the point that people age at different rates. If you have developed more pronounced age-related disease or disability at 70, then your odds of reaching 90 are not so good in comparison to your more healthy peers. Aging is damage, and age-related disease and degeneration is the visible manifestation of that damage. Insofar as we have control over the pace of aging, that is a matter of good lifestyle choices: exercise, calorie restriction, good use of preventative medical resources, and so forth. There is also the matter of supporting research so as to improve the capabilities of the medical technologies available in your old age - a factor much more important than the others when it comes to determining your expected length of life.

To identify factors associated with survival to the age of 90 years old in 70+ elderly people [we examined data from] 75 randomly selected administrative communities in Gironde and Dordogne (France) [containing members of the] PAQUID prospective cohort on brain and functional ageing. A sub-sample of 2,578 community dwellers aged 70 years and over at baseline in 1988 [were followed] over 20 years. Data on socio-material environments, lifestyle, health, perceived health, and family background were collected at home every 2-3 years over 20 years, with a prospective update of vital status. Participants were compared according to their survival status (subjects who reached 90 compared to those who did not).

Some factors associated with survival were common to both genders, whereas some others appeared gender specific. For men, tenant status (hazard ratio, HR=1.46), former or current smoking (HR=1.17), disability (respective HR of 1.50, 1.78 and 2.81 for mild, moderate and severe level), dementia (HR=1.51), a recent hospitalisation (HR=1.32), dyspnoea (HR=1.32), and cardiovascular symptoms (HR=1.15) were associated with lower chance of becoming nonagenarian. Conversely, regular physical activity (HR=0.74) was associated with higher chance of survival.

For women, the presence of a professional help (HR=1.19), living arrangements (HR=1.29 and HR=1.33), disability (respective HR of 1.55, 1.95 and 2.70 for mild, moderate and severe disability), dementia (HR=1.54), a recent hospitalisation (HR=1.19), diabetes (HR=1.49), and dyspnoea (HR=1.20) were associated with lower chance of becoming nonagenarian. Conversely, satisfaction of level income (HR=0.87), comfortable housing (HR=0.81), length of living in the dwelling (HR=0.80 upper to 6 years), regular physical activity (HR=0.89) and a medium (HR=0.79) or good (HR=0.68) subjective health, were associated with higher chance of becoming nonagenarian.

Link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24257572

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