Correlates of Change in Quality of Life From 79-90: the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921.


  • C.E. Brett
  • D. Dykiert
  • J.M. Starr
  • I.J. Deary


Quality of life (QoL) deceases in very old age & is related to negative health outcomes and mortality. Little is understood of the predictors of QoL change. This study investigated the correlates of QoL change in nonagenarians using a longitudinal cohort design. Participants (n=129, 39% male) were members of the Lothian Birth Cohort 1921. All completed assessments at approx age 79 & 90. Measures included QoL (WHOQOL-BREF), current anxiety & depression, objective health & functional status, self-rated health, sociodemographics & personality. QoL decreased significantly over time for the physical, psychological & environment domains & two general QoL items. Decline in psychological QoL was significantly associated (all p<.001) with decline in grip strength (r=.357) & Townsend functional ability (.270) & lower current self-rated health (.243), and decline in physical QoL with decline in functional ability (r=-.424) and increased depression (.419). There were no significant associations with baseline personality, disease history or living alone. The findings suggest that declining functional ability, mood & QoL are correlated in the 9th decade, implying potential intervention targets.






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