Population Health

At a Glance Projects Publications Team


The Onset and Progression of Disability in Older Adults

Yana Catherine Vierboom, Marcus Ebeling, Christian Dudel

Detailed Description

Two process are instrumental for the increase in lifespan: the prevention of diseases and improved disease management. Both processes affect the transition from health to disability. Previous work has suggested that individual disease and health histories are central determinants of the timing and manifestation of disability. At the same time, several different factors interact with disease and health histories and thus affect the onset of disability. These factors include sociodemographic and socioeconomic characteristics, social and economic development, as well as the infrastructure and welfare systems. The project sheds light on trends and patterns in the onset and progression of disability and how these developments vary across different strata and across populations.

To gain comprehensive insights into the health dynamics, the project uses several different data sources, ranging from high-resolution registry data to longitudinal aging surveys. By applying a multifaceted set of approaches, the project tackles questions about disability onset and its interaction with other factors from several different angles.      

Research Keywords:

Aging, Mortality and Longevity


Meyer, A. C.; Ebeling, M.; Modig, K.:
Journal of the American Medical Directors Association. forthcoming. (2024)    
Murata, S.; Meyer, A. C.; Ebeling, M.; Modig, K.:
Aging Clinical and Experimental Research, 1–9. (2023)    
Höhn, A.; McGurnaghan , S. J.; Caparrotta, T. M.; Jeyam , A.; O'Reilly, J. E.; Blackbourn, L. A. K.; Hatam, S.; Dudel, C.; Seaman, R. J.; Mellor, J.; Sattar, N.; McCrimmon, R. J.; Kennon, B.; Petrie, J. R.; Wild, S.; McKeigue, P. M.; Colhoun, H. M.:
PLOS One 17:8, e0271110–e0271110. (2022)    
Vierboom, Y. C.:
PLOS One 17:7, e0267551–e0267551. (2022)    
Ebeling, M.; Rau, R.; Håkan, M.; Ahlbom, A.; Modig, K.:
Age and Ageing 50:5, 1633–1640. (2021)    
Kühn, S.; Düzel, S.; Mascherek, A.; Eibich, P.; Krekel, C.; Kolbe, J.; Goebel, J.; Gallinat, J.; Wagner , G. G.; Lindenberger, U.:
Landscape and Urban Planning 214:104196, 1–8. (2021)
Kolodziejczak, K.; Rosada, A.; Drewelies, J.; Düzel, S.; Eibich, P.; Tegeler, C.; Wagner , G. G.; Beier, K. M.; Ram, N.; Demuth, I.; Steinhagen-Thiessen, E.; Gerstorf, D.:
Psychology and Aging 34:3, 389–404. (2019)
Mutambudzi, M.; Díaz-Venegas, C.; Manon, S.:
Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 74:11, 1828–1834. (2019)
Díaz-Venegas, C.; Reistetter, T. A.; Wong, R.:
Journals of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 73:5, 913–922. (2018)    
Doblhammer, G.; Peters, S.; Rizzuto, D.; Welmer, A.:
In: A demographic perspective on gender, family and health in Europe, 283–303. Cham: Springer Open. (2018)    
Hong, I.; Reistetter, T. A.; Díaz-Venegas, C.; Michaels-Obregón, A.; Wong, R.:
Quality of Life Research 27:9, 2431–2441. (2018)
Díaz-Venegas, C.; Sáenz, J. L.; Wong, R.:
Ageing and Society 37:3, 495–516. (2017)
Díaz-Venegas, C.; Wong, R.:
Disability and Health Journal 9:3, 524–532. (2016)
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.