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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2011 Nov;66(6):675-80. doi: 10.1093/geronb/gbr052. Epub 2011 Jul 20.

Self-perception of aging and vulnerability to adverse outcomes at the age of 65-70 years.

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Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine, University Hospital Center, University of Lausanne, 52, Route de Berne, CH-1010 Lausanne, Switzerland.



This study examines the relationship between self-perception of aging and vulnerability to adverse outcomes in adults aged 65-70 years using data from a cohort of 1,422 participants in Lausanne, Switzerland.


A positive or negative score of perception of aging was established using the Attitudes Toward Own Aging subscale including 5 items of the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale. Falls, hospitalizations, and difficulties in basic and instrumental activities of daily living (ADL) collected in the first 3 years of follow-up were considered adverse outcomes. The relationship between perception and outcomes were evaluated using multiple logistic regression models adjusting for chronic medical conditions, depressive feelings, living arrangement, and socioeconomic characteristics.


The strongest associations of self-perception of aging with outcomes were observed for basic and instrumental ADL. Associations with falls and hospitalizations were not constant but could be explained by health characteristics.


A negative self-perception of aging is an indicator of risk for future disability in ADL. Factors such as a low-economic status, living alone, multiple chronic medical conditions, and depressive feelings contribute to a negative self-perception of aging but do not explain the relationship with incident activities of daily living disability.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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