Journal Article

The healthy longevity survey and the active life expectancy of the oldest old in China

Zeng, Y., Vaupel, J. W., Xiao, Z., Zhang, C., Liu, Y.

Population: An English Selection, 13:1, 95-116 (2001)


This paper presents a summarized description of the background, objectives, study design, and data quality assessment of the 1998 Chinese Healthy Longevity Survey. The initial findings on the specific topic of active vs. disabled life expectancies are also presented in this paper. Various measurements have indicated that age-reporting and other aspects of the data quality of our 1998 survey are generally good. Based on data on Activities of Daily Living (ADL) collected from 2,274 centenarians, 3,035 nonagenarians, and 3,496 octogenarians in the 1998 survey, the oldest old living in rural China are more likely to be active in daily living throughout their remaining life than their urban counterparts. A higher percentage of elderly men maintain an active lifestyle than women, although women have a longer total life expectancy. Some explanations on such interesting rural-urban and gender differentials are discussed. (INED)