How to classify the Oldest Old according to Health Status: A study of 1160 subjects belonging to 552 90+ Italian sibships characterised by familial longevity recruited within the GeHA EU project

GEHA Project Consortium

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Abstract

The health status of the oldest old, the fastest increasing population segment worldwide, progressively becomes more heterogeneous, and this peculiarity represents a major obstacle to their classification. We compared the effectiveness of four previously proposed criteria (Franceschi et al., 2000; Evert et al., 2003; Gondo et al., 2006; Andersen-Ranberg et al., 2001) in 1160 phenotypically fully characterized Italian siblings of 90 years of age and older (90+, mean age: 93 years; age range: 90–106 years) belonging to 552 sib-ships, recruited in Northern, Central and Southern Italy within the EU-funded project GEHA, followed for a six-year-survival. Main findings were: (i) ‘‘healthy’’ subjects varied within a large range, i.e. 5.2% (Gondo), 8.7% (Evert), 17.7% (Franceschi), and 28.5% (Andersen-Ranberg); (ii) Central Italy subjects showed better health than those from Northern and Southern Italy; (iii) mortality risk was correlated with health status independently of geographical areas; and (iv) 90+ males, although fewer in number, were healthier than females, but with no survival advantage. In conclusion, we identified a modified version of Andersen-Ranberg criteria, based on the concomitant assessment of two basic domains (cognitive, SMMSE; physical, ADL), called ‘‘Simple Model of Functional Status’’ (SMFS), as the most effective proxy to distinguish healthy from not-healthy subjects. This model showed that health status was correlated within sib-ships, suggesting a familial/genetic component.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)560-569
Number of pages9
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Volume134
Issue number11-12
Early online date23 Nov 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 2013
EventSuper Vivere Exhibition - Queens University Belfast Naughton Gallery , Belfast, United Kingdom
Duration: 01 Jan 201131 Mar 2011

Keywords

  • Health Status Indicators;
  • longevity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Ageing
  • Developmental Biology

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  • R6229GRM: GEHA.

    Rea, M.

    01/08/2004 → …

    Project: Research

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