Decline in health for older adults: Five-year change in 13 key measures of standardized health

Paula H. Diehr, Stephen M. Thielke, Anne B. Newman, Calvin H Hirsch, Russell Tracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background.The health of older adults declines over time, but there are many ways of measuring health. It is unclear whether all health measures decline at the same rate or whether some aspects of health are less sensitive to aging than others.Methods.We compared the decline in 13 measures of physical, mental, and functional health from the Cardiovascular Health Study: hospitalization, bed days, cognition, extremity strength, feelings about life as a whole, satisfaction with the purpose of life, self-rated health, depression, digit symbol substitution test, grip strength, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed. Each measure was standardized against self-rated health. We compared the 5-year change to see which of the 13 measures declined the fastest and the slowest.Results. The 5-year change in standardized health varied from a decline of 12 points (out of 100) for hospitalization to a decline of 17 points for gait speed. In most comparisons, standardized health from hospitalization and bed days declined the least, whereas health measured by activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed declined the most. These rankings were independent of age, sex, mortality patterns, and the method of standardization.Conclusions.All of the health variables declined, on average, with advancing age, but at significantly different rates. Standardized measures of mental health, cognition, quality of life, and hospital utilization did not decline as fast as gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living. Public health interventions to address problems with gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living may help older adults to remain healthier in all dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1059-1067
Number of pages9
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume68
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Fingerprint

Activities of Daily Living
Health
Hospitalization
Cognition
Mental Health
Hand Strength
Emotions
Extremities
Public Health
Quality of Life
Walking Speed
Depression

Keywords

  • ADL
  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Gait.
  • IADL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Decline in health for older adults : Five-year change in 13 key measures of standardized health. / Diehr, Paula H.; Thielke, Stephen M.; Newman, Anne B.; Hirsch, Calvin H; Tracy, Russell.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, Vol. 68, No. 9, 09.2013, p. 1059-1067.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{4d214c578baa4f2bb79b482275fa0c11,
title = "Decline in health for older adults: Five-year change in 13 key measures of standardized health",
abstract = "Background.The health of older adults declines over time, but there are many ways of measuring health. It is unclear whether all health measures decline at the same rate or whether some aspects of health are less sensitive to aging than others.Methods.We compared the decline in 13 measures of physical, mental, and functional health from the Cardiovascular Health Study: hospitalization, bed days, cognition, extremity strength, feelings about life as a whole, satisfaction with the purpose of life, self-rated health, depression, digit symbol substitution test, grip strength, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed. Each measure was standardized against self-rated health. We compared the 5-year change to see which of the 13 measures declined the fastest and the slowest.Results. The 5-year change in standardized health varied from a decline of 12 points (out of 100) for hospitalization to a decline of 17 points for gait speed. In most comparisons, standardized health from hospitalization and bed days declined the least, whereas health measured by activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed declined the most. These rankings were independent of age, sex, mortality patterns, and the method of standardization.Conclusions.All of the health variables declined, on average, with advancing age, but at significantly different rates. Standardized measures of mental health, cognition, quality of life, and hospital utilization did not decline as fast as gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living. Public health interventions to address problems with gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living may help older adults to remain healthier in all dimensions.",
keywords = "ADL, Aging, Cognition, Gait., IADL",
author = "Diehr, {Paula H.} and Thielke, {Stephen M.} and Newman, {Anne B.} and Hirsch, {Calvin H} and Russell Tracy",
year = "2013",
month = "9",
doi = "10.1093/gerona/glt038",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "68",
pages = "1059--1067",
journal = "The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences",
issn = "1079-5006",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Decline in health for older adults

T2 - Five-year change in 13 key measures of standardized health

AU - Diehr, Paula H.

AU - Thielke, Stephen M.

AU - Newman, Anne B.

AU - Hirsch, Calvin H

AU - Tracy, Russell

PY - 2013/9

Y1 - 2013/9

N2 - Background.The health of older adults declines over time, but there are many ways of measuring health. It is unclear whether all health measures decline at the same rate or whether some aspects of health are less sensitive to aging than others.Methods.We compared the decline in 13 measures of physical, mental, and functional health from the Cardiovascular Health Study: hospitalization, bed days, cognition, extremity strength, feelings about life as a whole, satisfaction with the purpose of life, self-rated health, depression, digit symbol substitution test, grip strength, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed. Each measure was standardized against self-rated health. We compared the 5-year change to see which of the 13 measures declined the fastest and the slowest.Results. The 5-year change in standardized health varied from a decline of 12 points (out of 100) for hospitalization to a decline of 17 points for gait speed. In most comparisons, standardized health from hospitalization and bed days declined the least, whereas health measured by activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed declined the most. These rankings were independent of age, sex, mortality patterns, and the method of standardization.Conclusions.All of the health variables declined, on average, with advancing age, but at significantly different rates. Standardized measures of mental health, cognition, quality of life, and hospital utilization did not decline as fast as gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living. Public health interventions to address problems with gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living may help older adults to remain healthier in all dimensions.

AB - Background.The health of older adults declines over time, but there are many ways of measuring health. It is unclear whether all health measures decline at the same rate or whether some aspects of health are less sensitive to aging than others.Methods.We compared the decline in 13 measures of physical, mental, and functional health from the Cardiovascular Health Study: hospitalization, bed days, cognition, extremity strength, feelings about life as a whole, satisfaction with the purpose of life, self-rated health, depression, digit symbol substitution test, grip strength, activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed. Each measure was standardized against self-rated health. We compared the 5-year change to see which of the 13 measures declined the fastest and the slowest.Results. The 5-year change in standardized health varied from a decline of 12 points (out of 100) for hospitalization to a decline of 17 points for gait speed. In most comparisons, standardized health from hospitalization and bed days declined the least, whereas health measured by activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and gait speed declined the most. These rankings were independent of age, sex, mortality patterns, and the method of standardization.Conclusions.All of the health variables declined, on average, with advancing age, but at significantly different rates. Standardized measures of mental health, cognition, quality of life, and hospital utilization did not decline as fast as gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living. Public health interventions to address problems with gait speed, activities of daily living, and instrumental activities of daily living may help older adults to remain healthier in all dimensions.

KW - ADL

KW - Aging

KW - Cognition

KW - Gait.

KW - IADL

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84882348059&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84882348059&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1093/gerona/glt038

DO - 10.1093/gerona/glt038

M3 - Article

C2 - 23666944

AN - SCOPUS:84882348059

VL - 68

SP - 1059

EP - 1067

JO - The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

JF - The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences

SN - 1079-5006

IS - 9

ER -