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Am J Public Health. 1991 Jan;81(1):63-8.

Predictors of successful aging: a twelve-year study of Manitoba elderly.

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Department of Community Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada.


In Manitoba, Canada, a representative cohort of elderly individuals ages 65 to 84 (n = 3,573) were interviewed in 1971 and the survivors of this cohort were reinterviewed in 1983. This analysis assesses the determinants of successful aging--whether or not an individual will live to an advanced age, continue to function well at home, and remain mentally alert. Over 100 separate indicators of demographic and socio-economic status, social supports, health and mental status in 1971 were available as potential predictors of successful aging. Indicators of access to health care over the period 1970-82 and indicators of diseases over this period were also available as predictors. Those who aged successfully were shown to have greater satisfaction with life in 1983 and to have made fewer demands on the health care system than those who aged less well. Despite the large number of potential predictors of successful aging which were examined, only age, four measures of health status, two measures of mental status, and not having one's spouse die or enter a nursing home were shown to be predictive of successful aging.

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