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Journal Article


von Heideken Wågert P, Gustavsson JMC, Lundin-Olsson L, Kallin K, Nygren B, Lundman B, Norberg A, Gustafson Y. Aging Clin. Exp. Res. 2006; 18(2): 116-126.


Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine and Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Sweden.


(Copyright © 2006, Editrice Kurtis)






BACKGROUND AND AIMS: With an increasing population aged 85 years and over, the aim of this study was to describe health status and living conditions in the oldest old and to estimate age and sex differences in a Northern European population. METHODS: A population-based cross-sectional study, The Umeå 85+ Study, was carried out in the municipality of Umeå in northern Sweden. Out of 319 eligible participants aged 85, 90 and 95 years and over, 253 participated. Structured interviews and assessments were conducted with the participants in their homes, and data were also collected from relatives, caregivers and medical charts. Cognition was screened with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), depressive symptoms with the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (GDS-15) and nutritional status with the Mini Nutritional Assessment (MNA). Activities of daily living (ADL) were assessed applying the Staircase of ADL (including Katz' Index of ADL) and morale with the Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale (PGCMS). Participants also rated their own health. RESULTS: Over half of the participants had hypertension, one out of four was depressed, and the same proportion had had a hip fracture; the mean number of drugs taken was 6.4+/-4.0. Younger participants had lower rates of diagnoses and prescribed drugs, and were less dependent in ADL and other functional variables; men had lower rates of diagnoses and reported symptoms. The majority of participants rated their general health and morale as good. CONCLUSIONS: There were large variations in social, medical and functional variables within and between age and sex groups. This northern population of the oldest old seems to have a very high prevalence of hypertension, depression, hip fractures, and many prescribed drugs.

Language: en


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