Different Paths to Extreme Old Age: Examining Morbidity and Disability Profiles of U.S. Adults Who Survive to Age 90 and 100

Jennifer A. Ailshire, University of Southern California
Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, University of Southern California
Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California

Reaching advanced old age is becoming an increasingly common experience in the U.S. There are very few studies of health and functioning of exceptionally long-lived individuals and relatively little is known about the health trajectories of those who survive to extreme old age. The current study uses data from a nationally representative sample of older U.S. adults to examine: 1) differences in social and health characteristics between those who survive to age 90 and 100 and those who do not survive to exceptional old age; and 2) variation in morbidity and disability trajectories of older adults who survive to age 90 or 100. This study contributes to the growing body of research on longevity in the U.S. and globally. Our findings suggest that morbidity and disability trajectory profiles can be used to understand variability in the paths to longevity.

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Presented in Session 77: Longevity and Life Expectancy