Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2007 May 16; [Epub ahead of print]
Assessment of the health status of Greek centenarians.
Darviri C, Demakakos P, Charizani F, Tigani X, Tsiou C, Chalamandaris AG, Tsagkari C, Chliaoutakis J.
The present study aims at describing the health status of a sample of relatively functional and healthy Greek centenarians and at exploring the potential gender differences in health in this sample. Its objectives are to add to the accumulation of knowledge about the health status of centenarians and therefore to contribute to the exploration of the mechanisms of healthy longevity. The study employs a non-representative community sample of Greek centenarians of both sexes (N=47). It uses descriptive statistics in order to outline the health status of the participants and non-parametric tests to assess the statistical significance of the observed sex-differences. The study shows that the centenarians of our sample are relatively healthy and functional (15% of the sample was free of any major chronic disease). It also suggests, that the sex-difference in survival is statistical significant (p less or equal 0.013), and that the morbidity and co-morbidity rates of the Greek centenarians are relatively low (mean value of co-morbidity=1.4+/-0.97, S.D.). Moreover, it provides valuable information on the anthropometric characteristics of the sample, and on health services utilization. These results indicate that exceptional longevity is not necessarily accompanied by disability, disease and total dependence on others.