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Aging Clin Exp Res. 2011 Apr;23(2):126-34. doi: 10.3275/6932. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Cohort differences in health, functioning and physical activity in the young-old Finnish population.

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  • 1Gerontology Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, P.O. Box 35 (Viv) FI-40014 University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland. eino.heikkinen@jyu.fi

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

A mixed picture emerges from the international literature about secular and cohort changes in the health and functioning of older adults. We conducted a repeated population based cross-sectional study to determine trends in health, functioning and physical activity in the young old Finnish population.

METHODS:

Representative samples of community-dwelling people aged 65-69 years in 1988 (n=362), 1996 (n=320) and 2004 (n=292) were compared in socio-economic status, self-rated health, chronic diseases, memory problems, ability to carry out instrumental activities of daily living, physical activity, and five-year mortality.

RESULTS:

Significant improvement in all the investigated modalities, except that of chronic diseases, was observed in the newer cohorts. In logistic regression analysis, after controlling for socioeconomic status and gender, cohort effects remained significant for memory problems, IADL difficulties and physical activity. Cox regression analyses showed significant improvement in survival when later cohorts were compared with the earlier ones.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study provides evidence of improving levels of socio-economic status, self-rated health, functioning, physical activity, and lower risk of mortality in the newer cohorts of the Finnish young-old, but this was not accompanied by a parallel diminution in chronic diseases.

PMID:
20308805
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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