Complex health problems among the oldest old in Sweden: increased prevalence rates between 1992 and 2002 and stable rates thereafter
Number of Authors: 4
2015 (English)In: European Journal of Ageing, ISSN 1613-9372, E-ISSN 1613-9380, Vol. 12, no 4, 285-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Studies of health trends in older populations usually focus on single health indicators. We include multiple medical and functional indicators, which together indicate the broader impact of health problems experienced by individuals and the need for integrated care from several providers of medical and long-term care. The study identified severe problems in three health domains (diseases/symptoms, mobility, and cognition/communication) in three nationally representative samples of the Swedish population aged 77+ in 1992, 2002, and 2011 (n a parts per thousand 1900; response rate > 85 %). Institutionalized people and proxy interviews were included. People with severe problems in two or three domains were considered to have complex health problems. Results showed a significant increase of older adults with complex health problems from 19 % in 1992 to 26 % in 2002 and no change thereafter. Changes over time remained when controlling for age and sex. When stratified by education, complex health problems increased significantly for people with lower education between 1992 and 2002 and did not change significantly between 2002 and 2011. For higher-educated people, there was no significant change over time. Among the people with severe problems in the symptoms/disease domain, about half had no severe problems in the other domains. People with severe mobility problems, on the other hand, were more likely to also have severe problems in other domains. Even stable rates may imply an increasing number of very old people with complex health problems, resulting in a need for improved coordination between providers of medical care and social services.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 12, no 4, 285-297 p.
Complex health problems, Morbidity trends, Oldest old, Frail older adults, Multimorbidity
Geriatrics Gerontology, specializing in Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-124165DOI: 10.1007/s10433-015-0351-2ISI: 000363968800002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-124165DiVA: diva2:889244