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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 989315, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2010/989315
Research Article

Predicting Successful Aging in a Population-Based Sample of Georgia Centenarians

1Genetics Department, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
2Tulane Center for Aging and Department of Medicine, Tulane University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA
3Institute of Gerontology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
4Department of Food and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
5Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48106, USA
6The College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, MN 55811, USA
7Gerontology Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011, USA
8School of Family Studies and Human Services, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
9College of Health Professions, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 19122, USA
10Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC 27710, USA

Received 18 January 2010; Accepted 26 July 2010

Academic Editor: Donald Craig Willcox

Copyright © 2010 Jonathan Arnold et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Used a population-based sample (Georgia Centenarian Study, GCS), to determine proportions of centenarians reaching 100 years as (1) survivors (43%) of chronic diseases first experienced between 0–80 years of age, (2) delayers (36%) with chronic diseases first experienced between 80–98 years of age, or (3) escapers (17%) with chronic diseases only at 98 years of age or older. Diseases fall into two morbidity profiles of 11 chronic diseases; one including cardiovascular disease, cancer, anemia, and osteoporosis, and another including dementia. Centenarians at risk for cancer in their lifetime tended to be escapers (73%), while those at risk for cardiovascular disease tended to be survivors (24%), delayers (39%), or escapers (32%). Approximately half (43%) of the centenarians did not experience dementia. Psychiatric disorders were positively associated with dementia, but prevalence of depression, anxiety, and psychoses did not differ significantly between centenarians and an octogenarian control group. However, centenarians were higher on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) than octogenarians. Consistent with our model of developmental adaptation in aging, distal life events contribute to predicting survivorship outcome in which health status as survivor, delayer, or escaper appears as adaptation variables late in life.