Trends across 20 years in multiple indicators of functioning among older adults in the Netherlands

Erik J. Timmermans, Emiel O. Hoogendijk, Marjolein I. Broese van Groenou, Hannie C. Comijs, Natasja M. van Schoor, Fleur C.F. Thomése, Marjolein Visser, Dorly J.H. Deeg, Martijn Huisman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Monitoring of trends in functioning of older adults provides indispensable information for health care policy. This study examined trends in multiple indicators of functioning among Dutch older adults across a period of 20 years. METHODS: Data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam were used. We included 10 870 observations of 3803 respondents aged 64-84 years across seven waves (1992-12) and 931 observations of 603 respondents aged 85-94 years across four waves (2001-12). At each wave, 8 indicators of functioning were measured: multimorbidity, severe functional limitations, depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, physical inactivity, loneliness and social isolation. In addition, a sum score (range: 0-8) of these indicators was calculated, with a score of ≥5 indicating 'multiple problems.' Trends in functioning over time were assessed using Generalized Estimating Equation analyses. RESULTS: In the 64-84-years-olds, the prevalence of multimorbidity increased over time [OR(year) = 1.06, 95% CI = 1.05-1.06], whereas the prevalence of the other indicators decreased [i.e. cognitive impairment, physical inactivity (in women) and loneliness (in women)] or remained stable [i.e. severe functional limitations, depression, anxiety, physical inactivity (in men), loneliness (in men) and social isolation]. In the 85-94-year-olds, the prevalence of severe functional limitations increased over time [OR(year) = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.02-1.13], whereas the prevalence of the other indicators remained stable. In both age groups, the prevalence of 'multiple problems' remained stable. CONCLUSION: Unfavorable trends were observed in multimorbidity among 64-84-years-olds and in severe functional limitations among 85-94-year-olds. Favorable trends were found in cognitive impairment, physical inactivity (in women) and loneliness (in women) among 64-84-years-olds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1102
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Volume29
Issue number6
Early online date22 Apr 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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