Individuals living to 90 and beyond is becoming the fastest growing segment of the population in the US. It is also a population health care professionals know very little about.
The 90+ Study is going to change that. As more and more seniors reach this milestone, there is little known about the public health challenges to help aging senior continue to have a quality of life, as they live longer. UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders Started this study in 2003.
The Co-Principal Investigators: Claudia Kawas, MD and Maria Corrada, ScD along with co-investigators Annlia Paganini-Hill, PhD and Dana Greenia, RN, MS study the oldest of old, in the The 90+ Study. The information that started this study is very interesting. In 1981, a retirement community was started in California. It was called. Leisure World and the study that was started was the Leisure World Cohort Study.
The 90+ Study continues to check up on those participants every six months. “The Leisure World Cohort Study was established to study the effect of modifiable lifestyle practices on longevity and successful aging when all residents of a California retirement community (Leisure World Laguna Hills) were mailed a postal health survey in 1981.
New residents who moved into the community after this date were mailed the survey in 1982, 1983, and 1985. Of the 22,910 residents, 13,978 (61%) completed the questionnaire. The population and cohort are mostly Caucasian, well educated, upper-middle class, and elderly.
The baseline survey asked demographic information, brief medical history, medication use, personal habits (including cigarette smoking, activities, alcohol consumption), and select food and beverage frequency intake.” All the participating seniors in the in the The 90+ Study were initially participants of the Leisure World Study.
The The 90+ Study wanted to look at what determines longevity? What lifestyle choices promote living to 90 and beyond? Included in this study, was research on the development of dementia. How many developed a type of dementia? Are there changes in the brain that determine memory loss and dementia?
I think you will be surprised at what the researcher have uncovered. Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals. Some of the major findings are: “People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained. People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than men.
About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss. People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia, but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains.
People who exercised definitely lived longer than people who didn’t exercise. As little as 15 minutes a day on average made a difference.
Forty-five was the best. Even three hours didn’t beat 45 minutes a day.” Here is Part one of the segment on Living to 90 and Beyond
Here is part 2 of Living to 90 and Beyond: Information of Developing Dementia
More on Healthy Aging Dementia Prevention