Do gender, disability, and morbidity affect aging rate in the LLFS? Application of indices of cumulative deficits

Alexander M. Kulminski, Konstantin G. Arbeev, Kaare Christensen, Richard Mayeux, Anne B. Newman, Michael A. Province, Evan C. Hadley, Winifred Rossi, Thomas T. Perls, Irma T. Elo, Anatoli I. Yashin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We used an approach of cumulative deficits to evaluate the rate of aging in 4954 participants of the Long-Life Family Study (LLFS) recruited in the U.S. (Boston, New York, and Pittsburg) and Denmark. We used an array of 85 health-related deficits covering major health dimensions including depression, cognition, morbidity, physical performance, and disability to construct several deficit indices (DIs) with overlapping and complementary sets of deficits to test robustness of the estimates. Our study shows that the DIs robustly characterize accelerated rates of aging irrespective of specific of deficits. When a wider spectrum of health dimensions is considered these rates are better approximated by quadratic law. Exponential rates are more characteristic for more severe health dimensions. The aging rates are the same for males and females. Individuals who contracted major diseases and those who were free of them exhibited the same aging rates as characterized by the DI constructed using mild deficits. Unlike health, disability can qualitatively alter the aging patterns of the LLFS participants. We report on systemic differences in health among the LLFS centenarians residing in New York and Boston. This study highlights importance of aggregated approaches to better understand systemic mechanisms of health deterioration in long-living individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-201
Number of pages7
JournalMechanisms of Ageing and Development
Volume132
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2011

Keywords

  • Aging rates
  • Cumulative indices
  • Long-Life Family Study
  • Longevity

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