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A Novel Examination of Successful Aging Trajectories at the End of Life

Category: Journal Articles


Cosco, T.D., Stephan, B.C.M., Muniz, G. and Brayne, C. (2016) ‘A Novel Examination of Successful Aging Trajectories at the End of Life’, Canadian Journal on Aging / La Revue canadienne du vieillissement, , pp. 1–8. doi: 10.1017/S0714980816000519.

A successful aging (SA) index was captured in a longitudinal population-based cohort study of individuals aged 75 and older and examined longitudinally using growth mixture modelling (GMM) to identify groups with similar trajectories using decedents' (n = 1,015) last completed interview and up to four previous data collection waves before death. GMM identified a three-class model. Classes were high-functioning, no decline (HN); high-functioning, gradual decline (HG); and low-functioning, steep decline (LS). HN class individuals were significantly younger at death (p < 0.001) and at last interview (p < 0.001), consisted of more men (p < 0.001), and more likely to be married (p < 0.001) compared to HG and LS class individuals. These results demonstrate the different ways in which individuals can experience successful aging at the end of life. This study provides the framework for future research into life-course processes of aging, with important implications for policy and practice.