Pathways to Dependency and the Effects on Old-Age Mortality

Mathias Voigt
Diego Ramiro-Fariñas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC)
Antonio Abellan, Center for Social Science and Humanities (CCHS-CSIC)
Julio Pérez
Francisco Viciana, Institute of Statistics and Cartography of Andalusia

The exceptional increase of human life expectancy entails the question whether gained life years are spent in good health. Research on the relationship between demographic aging and population health generally suggests improvements in functionality and quality of life for elderlies with chronic diseases and mild disabilities. The situation for more severely disabled individuals, however, has not changed significantly. To gain a better understanding of how to prevail independence despite physical or mental impairments, we aim to examine different pathways leading to dependence on personal care in the Spanish population aged 65 and older. By applying newly linked data sources, we are going to identify transition biographies for individuals who receive personal assistance for activities of daily living and estimate how different pathways affect their survival after age 65. Preliminary results suggest a survival advantage for those experiencing a gradual rather than a more rapid transition to dependency.

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 Presented in Session 44. Studying Health and Mortality Using Linked Data