Journal Article

Survival prognosis in very old adults

Thinggaard, M., McGue, M., Jeune, B., Osler, M., Vaupel, J. W., Christensen, K.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 64:1, 81-88 (2016)


Keywords: Denmark


Objectives To determine whether simple functional indicators are predictors of survival prognosis in very old adults. Design In-person survey conducted over a 3-month period in 1998; assessment of survival over a 15-year follow-up period. Setting Denmark. Participants All 3,600 Danes born in 1905 and living in Denmark in 1998, were invited to participate regardless of residence and health; 2,262 (63%) participated in the survey: 1,814 (80.2%) in person and 448 (19.8%) through a proxy. Measurements Socioeconomic factors, medications and diseases, activities of daily living, physical performance, cognition, depression symptomatology, self-rated health, and all-cause mortality, evaluated as average remaining lifespan and chance of surviving to 100 years. Results Men aged 92 to 93 had an overall 6.0% chance of surviving to 100 years, whereas the chance for women was 11.4%. Being able to rise without use of hands increased the chance for men to 11.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 7.7–14.7) and for women to 22.0% (95% CI = 18.9–25.1). When combining this with a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores from 28 to 30, the chances were 21.7% (95% CI = 11.5–31.9) for men and 34.2% (95% CI = 24.8–43.5) for women. Conclusion Chair stand score combined with MMSE score is a quick and easy way to estimate overall chance of survival in very old adults, which is particularly relevant when treatment with potential side effects for nonacute diseases is considered.