Several months ago, I saw a story about the 90+ Study on Sixty Minutes and found myself (not surprisingly) intrigued. Begun in 2003, the study has enrolled at least 1,600 elderly individuals in an effort to understand various aspects of aging, including the factors associated with longevity, the epidemiology of dementia, and the prevalence and prevention of disability and cognitive struggles. So far, findings have included:
- Those who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those did not.
- Individuals overweight in their 70s tended to live longer than normal or underweight people did.
- More than 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia; nearly 80% of people aged 90 and older are disabled. Both dementia and disability were more common in women than men.
- In people with dementia who are older than ninety, about half don’t have sufficient neuropathology in the brain to explain the dementia.
- Among those aged 90 and older, people with a certain gene (called APOE2) are less likely to have Alzheimer’s dementia, but are still much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in the brain.
Hopefully, this and other studies will lead to advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of age-related illness, cognitive decline, and other issues faced by the aging population.
Check out the full story here: The 90+ Study.
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