Determinants of Physical and Cognitive Health Transitions Among Danish Nonagenarians

Cosmo Strozza , Sapienza University of Rome
Virginia Zarulli, University of Southern Denmark

At older ages, deteriorating of physical and cognitive health is very likely. This study investigates whether (1) transitions in physical and cognitive health are driven by the same demo-socio-economic characteristics and lifestyle habits; (2) these transitions follow the same patterns and how do physical or cognitive dimensions affect the transitions in the other dimension. Using the 1905 Danish Cohort survey, we applied Multi State Models – with Markov chain assumption - for panel data to evaluate physical and cognitive deterioration of the oldest-old. This study highlights a "one-step" worsening pattern in both physical and cognitive health. Both types of transitions were associated with similar socio-demographic and behavioral characteristics but not with emotional factors. The two health dimensions were related to each other in terms of transitions: being in a better health condition according to one dimension lowered the probability of worsening the other one or dying.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging