Navigation Links
Study reveals factors of exceptional health in old age

(PORTLAND, Ore.) October 27, 2008 Elderly people who have a positive outlook, lower stress levels, moderate alcohol consumption, abstention from tobacco, moderate to higher income and no chronic health conditions are more likely to thrive in their old age, according to a study in the October issue of The Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

The first study of its kind, researchers from Portland State University, the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research, Oregon Health & Science University, and Statistics Canada surveyed 2,432 older Canadians about their quality of life. The few who maintained excellent health over an entire decade were considered "thrivers." Most previous studies have been based on one-time surveys and have focused on factors that contribute to poor health.

"Important predictors of 'thriving' were the absence of chronic illness, income over $30,000, having never smoked, and drinking alcohol in moderation," said Mark Kaplan, DrPH, lead author and professor of community health at Portland State University. "We also found that people who had a positive outlook and lower stress levels were more likely to thrive in old age."

"Many of these factors can be modified when you are young or middle-aged," said David Feeny, PhD, co-author and senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "While these findings may seem like common sense, now we have evidence about which factors contribute to exceptional health during retirement years."

Study participants filled out an extensive health survey every other year, starting in 1994 and continuing through 2004. One measure, called the Health Utilities Index, asked people to rate their abilities in eight categories, including vision, hearing, speech, ambulation, dexterity, emotion, cognition, and pain. "Thrivers" were those who rated themselves as having no or only mild disability in all eight categories on at least five of the six surveys.

If respondents reported moderate or severe disability on any of the six surveys, they were classified as "non-thrivers." Just over half (or 50.8 percent) of the respondents started out as "thrivers", but by the end of the 10 years, only 8 percent of the respondents were considered thrivers. At the end of the study period, 47 percent of the respondents were classified as non-thrivers. Thirty-six percent had died and 9 percent were institutionalized.

"Even though the study was conducted in Canada, the findings are certainly applicable to the United States and other industrialized nations," says Bentson McFarland, MD, PhD, co-author and professor of psychiatry, public health and preventive medicine at at Oregon Health & Science University. "Our population here in the United States is similar demographically to Canada's, and both health care systems rely on the same underlying technologies."


Contact: Mary Sawyers
The Gerontological Society of America

Related medicine news :

1. Eating whole grains lowers heart failure risk, according to new study
2. Bloomberg School of Public Health to lead nationwide aging study
3. Latest Pistachio Study Reveals Significant Reduction in Markers of Inflammation - an Emerging Risk Factor in Heart Disease
4. University of Illinois - Chicago Study: Raisins Contain Compounds that May Inhibit Cavity-causing Bacteria
5. Study Reveals Factors of Exceptional Health in Old Age
6. AUDIO from Medialink and Genzyme: Study in New England Journal of Medicine Shows Investigational Compound Reduced Relapses and Disability in Patients With MS
7. Study finds that practice makes perfect in lung cancer surgery
8. New National Medicaid Study Underscores Importance of Including State Relief in Stimulus Plan
9. Study shows steroid therapies following transplant can be eliminated
10. Booz & Company Study Finds Top Corporate Spenders on R&D Boosted Investments to Nearly Half a Trillion Dollars in 2007
11. New CHARISMA Outcome Study Results Validate Aspirin Effect
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, DMD and ... of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser technology uses ... a dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to cosmetic treatments, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Charitable giving is at its ... made in the last five weeks of the year totalling over $358 billion in ... to connect the nation’s charities with those individuals who want to “give back” during ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... DMG Productions announced that they ... airing first quarter 2016 via Discovery Channel. Dates and show times TBA. , Aphria, ... is in the business of producing and supplying medical marijuana pursuant to the Marijuana ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... The Trustees, Massachusetts’ largest conservation and ... fees at several of their most popular properties, including Crane Beach in Ipswich, ... REI’s Black Friday #OptOutside Campaign. The Trustees encourage families and friends to take ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and ... taping of the next CURE Connections® video series on Saturday, Dec. ... at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. , CURE Connections, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal strategies ... products, says GBI Research . ... all play a key role in boosting the profitability of ... --> Developmental, commercial, and regulatory/legal ... profitability of pharmaceutical products, says GBI Research ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... DELHI , November 25, 2015 ... invoked due to repeated failure of IVF cycles. After ... Bhatia was totally dejected and had lost all hopes that she would be ... first Indian miracle child conceived after failure of over ... to abroad (UK) before they decided to take one last attempt ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  In the pharmaceutical industry, ... an effort to quickly uncover new insights, tactics and ... --> --> However, organizations often ... research project and ensure that all rules and regulations ... standards. Another major barrier to efficiently launching market research ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: