Cumulative Index of Health Disorders and Longevity

Aliaksandr Kulminski, Duke University
Svetlana V. Ukraintseva, Duke University
Igor Akushevich, Duke University
Konstantin G. Arbeev, Duke University
Anatoliy I. Yashin, Duke University

We describe the accumulation of aging-associated health disorders by a cumulative measure known as a frailty index (FI) and evaluate the FIs ability to differentiate long- and short-life phenotypes as well as the FIs connection to aging-associated processes in the elderly analyzing the National Long Term Care Survey data. We show that males and females died before age 75 and those who lived long and died at age 85+ exhibit remarkably similar FI frequency patterns despite the ten-year age difference between age profiles in these samples. Long life is consistently characterized in longitudinal analyses by lower levels of the FIs. FI dynamics are found to be strongly sex-sensitive. The FI appears to be a sensitive age-independent indicator of sex-specific physiological decline in aging individuals and sex-specific discriminator of survival chances. The FI is a promising characteristic suitable for improving sex-sensitive forecasts of risks of adverse health outcomes in the elderly.

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Presented in Session 115: Effects of Health on Development of Human Capital II