The dynamics of dimensions of age-related disability 1982 to 1994 in the U.S. elderly population.
Declines in chronic disability were observed in the National Long Term Care Survey (NLTCS) 1982 to 1994. We analyzed the 1982, 1984, 1989, and 1994 NLTCS to identify the dimensions of chronic disability from multivariate analyses of a rich battery of measures of the ability (or inability) to perform specific activities. Changes over time in the prevalence of individual disability dimensions can be tracked to evaluate the rate of age-related losses of specific functions, 1982-1994. Seven dimensions described changes in the age dependence of 27 activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, and physical performance measures in community and institutional resident elderly individuals over the 12 year period. Adjusted for age, the healthiest dimension with the best physical function experienced the largest increase in prevalence (3.3%) implying a decline in age-related disability. Disability declines were correlated with reductions in select health conditions (e.g., dementia and circulatory disease) over the study period.
Manton, KG; Stallard, E; Corder, LS
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