The study shows the close links between age and health

Almost all older adults have experienced some form of aging in their daily lives, according to a new study, when they see older messages and pictures on TV or on the Internet, they only meet people who indicate that they have fewer abilities because they are older. , or believing stereotypes about aging.

Older adults with more health concerns, however, appear to have experienced this type of “everyday aging,” according to new findings published by a team from the University of Oklahoma, Normandy, and the University of Michigan. The data, from a survey of more than 2,000 people between the ages of 50 and 80, comes from the National Poll on Healthy Aging.

The higher a person’s score on a scale of daily age experiences, the greater their chance of poor physical or mental health, more chronic health, or signs of depression.

The study, although published in JAMA network openthey cannot show cause and effect, the authors point out that the links between age and health need to be further explored and taken into account when designing programs to promote the good health and well-being of older adults.

These findings present an opportunity for health problems related to aging to reflect the detrimental effects of aging, and the potential for anti-aging efforts as a strategy to promote the health and well-being of older adults. ”

Julie Ober Allen, PhD, MPH, Senior Author, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman

Allen worked in the survey as a postdoctoral fellow at the Population Studies Center at the UM Institute for Social Research.

The team released preliminary findings in an NPHA report based on the UM Institute for Health Policy and Innovation and supported by AARP and Michigan Medicine, UM’s academic medical center.

But the new analysis goes further, and uses the Daily Age Scale developed by the team. This scale, validated and published last year, calculates a score based on the answers to 10 questions about the experience and beliefs of aging individuals.

Overall, 93% of older adults surveyed said they regularly suffered from at least one of 10 types of age. The most common, with almost 80% living, agreed that “having health problems is part of advancing age,” although 83% of those surveyed said their health was good or very good. This type of “internalized” age also included feeling overwhelmed, or agreeing with the assertions that feeling partly older, feeling depressed, sad, or worried.

Meanwhile, 65% of seniors said they regularly see, hear, or read jokes about older people, or messages that say that older adults are unattractive or desirable.

45% of respondents reported that it was a common occurrence of another type of experience that researchers call age-related aging. Among them were experiences about another person where the elderly person had trouble using technology to see, see, hear, understand, remember, or do something independently, or did nothing valuable.

The researchers calculated the daily age scores of each of the more than 2,000 respondents in the survey, based on the answers given to all survey questions.

The overall overall score was above 10. As a group, those aged 65 to 80 scored more than 11 points, indicating that those aged 50-64 are experiencing more age.

People with lower incomes or levels of education and those living in rural areas also had higher average age scores than others. Older adults who watched TV every day, surfed the Internet, or read magazines had a higher score than those with less media exposure.

The researchers then looked at each person’s score based on what they said about their health, including self-assessed physical and mental health, the number of chronic health conditions, and a report of depressive symptoms.

They found a close link between higher scores and four health-related measures. That is, those who reported higher scores in the Daily Age were more likely to report that their overall physical health or general mental health was fair or poor, more chronic health conditions, and depressive symptoms.

This link was closely related to the measures of age that were deeply ingrained: questions that measured the extent to which a person agreed with statements about health problems, loneliness, and sadness as part of aging. But the experiences of middle-aged people were also linked to health-related measures, as well as some aspects of age messages.

The relationship between the experiences of the elderly The director and lead author of a survey of particular interest in the daily lives and health of the elderly and Preeti Malani, MD, a professor of Michigan Medicine who cares for older adults.

“Those who surveyed us felt the most form of age to say that our physical or mental health was good or bad, or that they had a chronic illness like diabetes or heart disease, that’s all. It needs more examination,” he says.


Michigan Medicine – University of Michigan

Magazine reference:

Allen, JO, et al. (2022) Experiences of everyday age and adult health in the US. JAMA network open.


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