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Special Issue "Life and Health of the Elderly"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Aging".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2022) | Viewed by 26405

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Man-Kit Lei
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Sociology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA
Interests: sociology of aging and health; medical sociology; inequality; family and neighborhood studies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The National Institutes of Health of the United States Advances-in-Geroscience Conference reported that: “The major diseases causing morbidity and mortality have one root cause in common – aging.” Aging is a lifelong process that begins in childhood, with implications for health span and life expectancy. However, age-related chronic illness and disability increase exponentially after the age of 65. In addition to biological aging, older people are more likely to experience various life events, such as retirement, the death of a partner, major medical problems, social network changes, and moving to a retirement village. During older age, these events may result in critical transitions and turning points that influence an individual’s trajectory and evoke substantial change through their senior years. Given this, preventing health and life problems in later life and understanding successful aging are of considerable interest and importance. To address this demand, the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) is planning a special issue dedicated to this area of investigation.

Dr. Man-Kit Lei
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • adversity
  • epigenetic aging
  • healthy lifestyle
  • life course theory
  • resilience
  • social determinants of aging
  • social network
  • social support
  • stress
  • successful aging

Published Papers (22 papers)

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Article
Spatial–Temporal Patterns of Population Aging in Rural China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15631; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315631 - 24 Nov 2022
Viewed by 250
Abstract
(1) Background: Population aging has been accelerating in China since the 1990s, and the number of people over 65 reached 190 million in 2020. However, the spatial distribution of the aged is not homogeneous; in rural areas, the aged population accounted for 17.72% [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Population aging has been accelerating in China since the 1990s, and the number of people over 65 reached 190 million in 2020. However, the spatial distribution of the aged is not homogeneous; in rural areas, the aged population accounted for 17.72% of the total population, whereas in urban areas, it accounted for 11.11%, which is 6.61 p.p. less. Therefore, this study aims to examine the spatial heterogeneity and influencing factors of population aging in rural China from 2000 to 2020. (2) Methods: First, Getis–Ord Gi* was used to analyze the spatial clustering of the aged population in rural China. Then, standard deviational ellipse was used to characterize the temporal trend of the spatial clustering of population aging in rural China. Finally, potential influencing factors that could have contributed to the spatial–temporal patterns were analyzed using a novel spatial statistical package “Geographical Detector”. (3) Results: (a). Aging in rural populations increased and occurred throughout China from 2000 to 2020. (b). The spatial patterns of aging in China are roughly divided by the Hu Line, which is the population density boundary of China. (c). The mean center of the aged population tended to orient around a northeast-to-southwest major axis over the past 20 years, contrary to the internal migration pattern that flows from north to south. (d). The population age structure, longevity rate, and fertility rate were the predominant factors of aging in rural areas. (4) Conclusions: As the aged population is rapidly increasing in rural areas in China in a spatially heterogeneous fashion, governments and private sectors need to collaborate to alleviate the problem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
The Relationship between Internet Use and Self-Rated Health among Older Adults in China: The Mediating Role of Social Support
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 14785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192214785 - 10 Nov 2022
Viewed by 350
Abstract
The development of Internet technology has significantly impacted how people live their daily lives. How this disparity in Internet use affects the self-rated health of older adults needs to be further explored. This paper studies the impact of Internet use on self-rated health, [...] Read more.
The development of Internet technology has significantly impacted how people live their daily lives. How this disparity in Internet use affects the self-rated health of older adults needs to be further explored. This paper studies the impact of Internet use on self-rated health, aiming to examine the effect of Internet use and social support on the self-rated health of older adults in China. This study used data from the 2017 China General Social Survey (CGSS) to verify the effect of Internet use on older adults’ self-rated health. The results showed that Chinese elderly who used the Internet had a higher self-rated health, and social support from relatives and friends significantly improved the elderly’s self-rated health. This social support played a critical, partially mediating role between Internet use and self-rated health. In China, the effect of Internet use on older adults’ self-rated health was heterogeneous. Among them, the impact of Internet use was more significant for the male elderly, younger elderly, and rural elderly. The results suggest that the government should formulate targeted policies to improve the utilization of the Internet and maintain a good Internet environment to enhance the well-being of older adults according to the trend of population aging and the popularity of the Internet. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Exploring Perceived Barriers to Physical Activity in Korean Older Patients with Hypertension: Photovoice Inquiry
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 14020; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192114020 - 27 Oct 2022
Viewed by 500
Abstract
This study attempted to explore the barriers to physical activity of older patients with Hypertension. It aimed to provide robust evidence produced through their eyes. First, through the data analysis of the accelerometer and the decision of the research team, 10 out of [...] Read more.
This study attempted to explore the barriers to physical activity of older patients with Hypertension. It aimed to provide robust evidence produced through their eyes. First, through the data analysis of the accelerometer and the decision of the research team, 10 out of the 30 applicants were invited to participate in a photovoice study. Photovoice is one example of participatory action research. Photovoice participants can communicate their unique experiences through photographs, providing a highly realistic and authentic perspective that is not possible to be understood with traditional qualitative research. This study inductively identified four main themes; health illiteracy, distortion of health information, fear of physical activity, and rejection of any life changes. Based on a specific understanding of the population’s perception of physical activity, this study attempted to provide evidence of why many elderly Korean patients with Hypertension stay inactive. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Marital Status, Living Arrangements and Mortality at Older Ages in Chile, 2004–2016
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(21), 13733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192113733 - 22 Oct 2022
Viewed by 408
Abstract
The risk of mortality in old age is associated with marital status and living arrangements. There is still little knowledge about this in Latin America. Our objectives are to examine the association between marital status, living arrangements and mortality of older adults (>60 [...] Read more.
The risk of mortality in old age is associated with marital status and living arrangements. There is still little knowledge about this in Latin America. Our objectives are to examine the association between marital status, living arrangements and mortality of older adults (>60 years) in Chile, and to test whether this association varies when demographic, socioeconomic and health factors are included. We used data from the Social Protection Survey, and mortality data were linked to the Civil Registry. We estimate a series of Poisson regression models. Our results show a clear association between marriage and longevity, since even controlling for demographic, socioeconomic and health factors, we found that separated or divorced, widowed, and unmarried people showed higher relative mortality compared to married people (IRR1.24, IRR1.33, IRR1.35, respectively). Considering only living arrangements, the results show that living alone, alone with children, with children and other relatives or in other arrangements is associated with higher mortality (IRR1.22, IRR1.27, IRR1.35, IRR1.35, respectively) compared to those living with their partners and children. However, considering marital status and living arrangements together, we find that survival among older adults was strongly associated with marital status. Marital status continues to be a direct measure of living arrangements among older adults in Chile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
Article
Do Loneliness and Per Capita Income Combine to Increase the Pace of Biological Aging for Black Adults across Late Middle Age?
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(20), 13421; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192013421 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 491
Abstract
In a sample of 685 late middle-aged Black adults (M age at 2019 = 57.17 years), we examined the effects of loneliness and per capita income on accelerated aging using a newly developed DNA-methylation based index: the DunedinPACE. First, using linear, mixed effects [...] Read more.
In a sample of 685 late middle-aged Black adults (M age at 2019 = 57.17 years), we examined the effects of loneliness and per capita income on accelerated aging using a newly developed DNA-methylation based index: the DunedinPACE. First, using linear, mixed effects regression in a growth curve framework, we found that change in DunedinPACE was dependent on age, with a linear model best fitting the data (b = 0.004, p < 0.001), indicating that average pace of change increased among older participants. A quadratic effect was also tested, but was non-significant. Beyond the effect of age, both change in loneliness (b = 0.009, p < 0.05) and change in per capita income (b = −0.016, p < 0.001) were significantly associated with change in DunedinPACE across an 11-year period, accounting for significant between person variability observed in the unconditional model. Including non-self-report indices of smoking and alcohol use did not reduce the association of loneliness or per capita income with DunedinPACE. However, change in smoking was strongly associated with change in DunedinPACE such that those reducing their smoking aged less rapidly than those continuing to smoke. In addition, both loneliness and per capita income were associated with DunedinPACE after controlling for variation in cell-types. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
School Disengagement Predicts Accelerated Aging among Black American Youth: Mediation by Psychological Maladjustment and Moderation by Supportive Parenting
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(19), 12034; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191912034 - 23 Sep 2022
Viewed by 451
Abstract
Early experiences of school disengagement may serve as a warning sign for later young adult adjustment difficulties and eventually contribute to accelerated aging among Black American youth. At the same time, supportive parenting may play a protective role. Using longitudinal data from the [...] Read more.
Early experiences of school disengagement may serve as a warning sign for later young adult adjustment difficulties and eventually contribute to accelerated aging among Black American youth. At the same time, supportive parenting may play a protective role. Using longitudinal data from the Family and Community Health Study (FACHS), we examined psychological maladjustment (comprising depression, lack of self-regulation, and low self-esteem) as a mediator of the relationship between school disengagement and accelerated aging. We also examined the effect of supportive parenting in buffering the impact of school disengagement on adulthood outcomes by controlling for covariates. Hypotheses were examined in a sample of 386 (Mean age = 28.68; Females = 62.7%; Males = 37.3%) Black American youth who were followed into young adulthood. Path modeling was used to test hypothesized relationships. We found school disengagement, i.e., problems with school attendance, performance, and engagement, reported across ages 10–18, predicted psychological maladjustment, which, in turn, predicted accelerated aging at age 29. We also found a buffering effect for supportive parenting. No significant gender difference in the indirect effect or buffering effect was found. This study highlights the potential importance of greater attention to school disengagement to identify and potentially influence long-term health trajectories and adult outcomes for Black American youth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Factors Predicting the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Preventive Behaviors of Older Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study in Bangkok, Thailand
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 10361; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191610361 - 19 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 796
Abstract
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the health behaviors of older adults. Thus, the factors predicting the COVID-19 preventive behaviors of older adults during the COVID-19 outbreak should be examined. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the COVID-19 preventive behaviors of [...] Read more.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the health behaviors of older adults. Thus, the factors predicting the COVID-19 preventive behaviors of older adults during the COVID-19 outbreak should be examined. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the COVID-19 preventive behaviors of older adults and explore the factors predicting these. A cross-sectional study was performed with 400 older adults who were selected using the cluster sampling technique. The associations of all variables in preventing COVID-19 infection with COVID-19 preventive behaviors were examined using stepwise multiple regression. The study results revealed that 70.8% of the study participants had high levels of COVID-19 preventive behaviors. Among these, self-efficacy in preventing COVID-19 infection (β = 0.224) showed the highest ability to predict COVID-19 preventive behaviors, followed by COVID-19 response efficacy (β = 0.171), knowledge about COVID-19 (β = 0.110), and gender (β = −0.102). Older adults adopted protective behaviors at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The predictors of these behaviors should be considered while designing and developing appropriate COVID-19 preventive behavior interventions, aimed at inducing behavioral modifications to reduce further infection with and spread of COVID-19. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
Article
Hybrid Exercise Program for Sarcopenia in Older Adults: The Effectiveness of Explainable Artificial Intelligence-Based Clinical Assistance in Assessing Skeletal Muscle Area
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(16), 9952; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19169952 - 12 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1253
Abstract
Background: Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome characterized by decreased skeletal muscle mass and function with age. It is well-established that resistance exercise and Yi Jin Jing improve the skeletal muscle mass of older adults with sarcopenia. Accordingly, we designed an exercise program incorporating [...] Read more.
Background: Sarcopenia is a geriatric syndrome characterized by decreased skeletal muscle mass and function with age. It is well-established that resistance exercise and Yi Jin Jing improve the skeletal muscle mass of older adults with sarcopenia. Accordingly, we designed an exercise program incorporating resistance exercise and Yi Jin Jing to increase skeletal muscle mass and reverse sarcopenia in older adults. Additionally, machine learning simulations were used to predict the sarcopenia status after the intervention. Method: This randomized controlled trial assessed the effects of sarcopenia in older adults. For 24 weeks, 90 older adults with sarcopenia were divided into intervention groups, including the Yi Jin Jing and resistance training group (YR, n = 30), the resistance training group (RT, n = 30), and the control group (CG, n = 30). Computed tomography (CT) scans of the abdomen were used to quantify the skeletal muscle cross-sectional area at the third lumbar vertebra (L3 SMA). Participants’ age, body mass, stature, and BMI characteristics were analyzed by one-way ANOVA and the chi-squared test for categorical data. This study explored the improvement effect of three interventions on participants’ L3 SMA, skeletal muscle density at the third lumbar vertebra (L3 SMD), skeletal muscle interstitial fat area at the third lumbar vertebra region of interest (L3 SMFA), skeletal muscle interstitial fat density at the third lumbar vertebra (L3 SMFD), relative skeletal muscle mass index (RSMI), muscle fat infiltration (MFI), and handgrip strength. Experimental data were analyzed using two-way repeated-measures ANOVA. Eleven machine learning models were trained and tested 100 times to assess the model’s performance in predicting whether sarcopenia could be reversed following the intervention. Results: There was a significant interaction in L3 SMA (p < 0.05), RSMI (p < 0.05), MFI (p < 0.05), and handgrip strength (p < 0.05). After the intervention, participants in the YR and RT groups showed significant improvements in L3 SMA, RSMI, and handgrip strength. Post hoc tests showed that the YR group (p < 0.05) yielded significantly better L3 SMA and RSMI than the RT group (p < 0.05) and CG group (p < 0.05) after the intervention. Compared with other models, the stacking model exhibits the best performance in terms of accuracy (85.7%) and F1 (75.3%). Conclusion: One hybrid exercise program with Yi Jin Jing and resistance exercise training can improve skeletal muscle area among older adults with sarcopenia. Accordingly, it is possible to predict whether sarcopenia can be reversed in older adults based on our stacking model. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
The Impact of Internet Use on the Social Networks of the Elderly in China—The Mediating Effect of Social Participation
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159576 - 04 Aug 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 946
Abstract
Introduction: Under the overlapping interaction of digitization and aging, the number of elderly Internet users has increased yearly. However, the impact of Internet use on the social networks of the elderly is still unclear. Methodology: In this study, we utilize the methods of [...] Read more.
Introduction: Under the overlapping interaction of digitization and aging, the number of elderly Internet users has increased yearly. However, the impact of Internet use on the social networks of the elderly is still unclear. Methodology: In this study, we utilize the methods of ordinary least square regression (OLS), propensity score matching (PSM), instrumental variable (IV), and Bootstrap-mediated effect analysis methods using data from the Chinese General Social Survey (CGSS) to analyze the impact of Internet use on the social networks of the elderly and examine the mediating effect of social participation. Objectives: A total of 1363 validated respondents aged 60 or above were included to explore the relationship between Internet use, social networks, and social participation among the elderly in China. Results: The results show that Internet use positively and significantly impacts the social networks of the elderly. Compared to the elderly who do not use the Internet, the elderly who use the Internet have a larger social network size, more significant social network heterogeneity, and higher social network upper reachability. The mediated analysis shows that social participation plays a positive mediating role in the influence of Internet use on the social networks of the elderly. That is, Internet use will benefit the social network of the elderly by improving the level of their social participation. Besides, there also exists heterogeneity in the effect of Internet use on social networks among the elderly with different genders, ages, and places of residence. Conclusions: Internet use benefits the social network of the elderly, and social participation partially mediates the relationship between Internet use and the social network of the elderly. These findings have implications for formulating public policies aimed at active aging; it is necessary to bridge the “digital divide” and promote the digital integration of the elderly. Let more older adults benefit from Internet use, thus improving the social network and quality of life of the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
Article
Association of Playing Cards or Mahjong with Cognitive Function in Chinese Older Adults
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9249; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159249 - 28 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
Cognitive decline in older adults is a major public health threat. This study aimed to explore the association of participation in cards or mahjong with cognitive function in older adults. A total of 7308 older adults were selected from the 2018 Chinese Longitudinal [...] Read more.
Cognitive decline in older adults is a major public health threat. This study aimed to explore the association of participation in cards or mahjong with cognitive function in older adults. A total of 7308 older adults were selected from the 2018 Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. A modified Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used to assess cognitive function. The participants were classified according to the frequency of playing cards or mahjong into the “regularly” (R) group, “occasionally” (O) group, or “never” (N) group. The results showed that older persons in the R group and O group had better cognitive function than those in the N group. Specifically, significant differences were found in attention and calculation, language, and total MMSE score between the R group and the N group. However, significant differences were not observed for adults aged 60–69 years old. Regression analysis indicated that playing cards or mahjong, together with age, educational level, sex, marital status, and occupation before age 60 could explain the cognitive function. The findings suggest that there is an association between participation in cards or mahjong and cognitive function in the population of Chinese older adults, and that the frequency of participation plays an important role in the association. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Aging and Family Relationships among Aymara, Mapuche and Non-Indigenous People: Exploring How Social Support, Family Functioning, and Self-Perceived Health Are Related to Quality of Life
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9247; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159247 - 28 Jul 2022
Viewed by 762
Abstract
Family relationships play a central role in wellbeing among older adults in Chile. Based on the theory of social production functions, this study examined the relationship between perceived social support from children, partners and relatives, family functioning, self-perceived health and quality of life [...] Read more.
Family relationships play a central role in wellbeing among older adults in Chile. Based on the theory of social production functions, this study examined the relationship between perceived social support from children, partners and relatives, family functioning, self-perceived health and quality of life (QoL) among Chilean older adults. The study used a multi-ethnic sample of Chilean older adults living in rural areas in the regions of Arica and Parinacota (north) and Araucanía (south). A model was analyzed that emphasizes relationships differentiated by the source of support, family functioning and self-perceived health in the explanation of QoL. The results obtained from the structural equation modelling (SEM) analysis showed the existence of indirect relationships of social support from children, partners and other family members via family functioning, while self-perceived health was directly associated with QoL. The findings indicate that family functioning is a main variable in the contrasted model, in addition to confirming the importance of distinguishing the role of the various sources of support. Research is needed to examine in detail intergenerational relationships and other relationships with family members who are significant in the wellbeing of older adults. This research corroborates that family relationships have a specificity that needs to be addressed in gerontological social intervention, as well as continuing along the lines of strengthening or improving existing family ties (more quality) over the quantity of social relationships. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
An Empirical Study on the Influence of Smart Home Interface Design on the Interaction Performance of the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(15), 9105; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19159105 - 26 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 756
Abstract
The concept of the smart home has been widely recognized and accepted, but the differentiated characteristics of elderly smart products in terms of demand and use are becoming more and more prominent. The lack of an efficient navigation design of the smart product [...] Read more.
The concept of the smart home has been widely recognized and accepted, but the differentiated characteristics of elderly smart products in terms of demand and use are becoming more and more prominent. The lack of an efficient navigation design of the smart product interface increases the cognitive burden of elderly users, and how to better meet the needs of the elderly with smart products gradually becomes the focus of attention. This study was conducted for the elderly group, using the scenario-based design method to analyze the needs of elderly users, combining the research results of scenario theory with the smart home interaction design research method, focusing on how to make the style of interface navigation, sliding layout and button size more suitable for the cognitive behavior of elderly users. The purpose of this research is to realize an age-friendly smart home interaction design in terms of functional design and interface design. The experiment is divided into two stages: in stage 1, two different layouts and operation methods are commonly used for the age-friendly smart home interface: up and down sliding and left and right sliding; in stage 2, the functional buttons are square, where 4 styles are selected, and the side lengths are set to 10 mm, 12 mm, 15 mm, 18 mm and 22 mm. The sliding and retrieval test and retrieval and click test results show that for different sliding layout methods, the interactive performance and subjective evaluation of the interface with the up-and-down sliding layout are better. Among all functional button styles, the interaction performance and subjective evaluation of the simple button style with lines are the best. Among the function keys with a size of 10–22 mm, the interaction performance is better from 12 mm to 18 mm. The conclusion of the better interface data information obtained from this experiment improves the rationality of the age-friendly smart home interface and makes the smart home interface better for the age-friendly scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Mature and Older Adults’ Perception of Active Ageing and the Need for Supporting Services: Insights from a Qualitative Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7660; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137660 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 868
Abstract
The improvement in life expectancy, economic conditions, and technological and medical progress have radically changed the demographic structure of many societies. Since many countries now have an ageing population, by adopting a life-course study perspective, this paper aims to explore the needs of [...] Read more.
The improvement in life expectancy, economic conditions, and technological and medical progress have radically changed the demographic structure of many societies. Since many countries now have an ageing population, by adopting a life-course study perspective, this paper aims to explore the needs of older adults (over 60), and the currently adult population which will become older in the coming decades (50–60 years). In detail, the study investigates the lifestyles of the target populations by focusing on two main areas concerning health (healthy diet; attitudes towards physical activity) and socio-relational-housing and living conditions (social housing, senior co-housing in rural environments, etc.). A qualitative study was carried out based on 16 in-depth interviews developed over one month (February 2022). The conduct of the interviews was supported by the Italian Center for Sensory Analysis (CIAS). Emerging from the results, the concept of active ageing is perceived by mature and older adults in a positive and optimistic way. The sample considered want to re-engage in life, continuing to be active, useful, and maintaining their self-esteem, social life and independence. However, despite older people’s major concerns being preserve their physical abilities and social integration, this target group adopts behaviours focused more on current well-being rather than worrying too much about how this well-being will change as they age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
Article
Oral Health and Frailty in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in the Northern Netherlands: A Cross-Sectional Study
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(13), 7654; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19137654 - 23 Jun 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The aim of this study was to explore the association between oral health and frailty in community-dwelling Dutch adults aged 55 years and older. Included were 170 participants (n = 95 female [56%]; median age 64 years [IQR: 59–69 years]). Frailty was [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to explore the association between oral health and frailty in community-dwelling Dutch adults aged 55 years and older. Included were 170 participants (n = 95 female [56%]; median age 64 years [IQR: 59–69 years]). Frailty was assessed by the Groningen Frailty Indicator. Oral health was assessed by the Oral Health Impact Profile-14-NL (OHIP-NL14). OHIP-NL14 item scores were analyzed for differences between frail and non-frail participants. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the association between oral health and presence of frailty. The multivariate analysis included age, gender, and depressive symptoms as co-variables. After adjustment, 1 point increase on the OHIP-NL14 scale was associated with 21% higher odds of being frail (p = 0.000). In addition, significantly more frail participants reported presence of problems on each OHIP-NL14 item, compared to non-frail participants (p < 0.003). Contrast in prevalence of different oral health problems between frail and non-frail was most prominent in ‘younger’ older adults aged 55–64 years. In conclusion: decreased oral health was associated with frailty in older adults aged ≥55 years. Since oral health problems are not included in most frailty assessments, tackling oral health problems may not be sufficiently emphasized in frailty policies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Relationship between Self-Perception of Aging and Quality of Life in the Different Stages of Reproductive Aging in Mexican Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(11), 6839; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19116839 - 02 Jun 2022
Viewed by 993
Abstract
Biological aging has an abrupt beginning in women, changing their body and perceptions, which are not accepted easily because the actual stereotypes are focused on youth and anti-aging. Our interest was to explore what the self-perception of aging (SPA) is in middle-aged women [...] Read more.
Biological aging has an abrupt beginning in women, changing their body and perceptions, which are not accepted easily because the actual stereotypes are focused on youth and anti-aging. Our interest was to explore what the self-perception of aging (SPA) is in middle-aged women throughout the reproductive aging stages and their association with the quality of life. A cross-sectional study was conducted with 240 women (40–69 years) living in Mexico City, who were separated according to their reproductive aging stage. An electronic version of the Spanish version of the Self-rated Attitudes Towards Old Age (SATO) and the WHO Quality of Life-Bref (WHOQoL) was applied to these women and was sent by WhatsApp or email. Seventeen women of the total sample (7%) had a negative self-perception of aging. There is an association between SATO and WHOQoL (r = –0.273, p < 0.0001), but in the menopausal transition stage, the association is strong in the psychological subscale, and after menopause, early and late postmenopausal women show a better association in the social subscale. Negative SPA impacts the WHOQoL psychological dimension and not the total WHOQoL score. Our findings suggest an association between SPA and quality of life in different reproductive aging stages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Many Changes in Speech through Aging Are Actually a Consequence of Cognitive Changes
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2137; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042137 - 14 Feb 2022
Viewed by 955
Abstract
Background: During aging, changes in human speech may arise because of the neurophysiological deterioration associated with age, or as the result of an impairment in the cognitive processes underlying speech production. Some speech parameters show specific alterations under the presence of dementia. The [...] Read more.
Background: During aging, changes in human speech may arise because of the neurophysiological deterioration associated with age, or as the result of an impairment in the cognitive processes underlying speech production. Some speech parameters show specific alterations under the presence of dementia. The objective of our study is to identify which of these parameters change because of age, cognitive state, or the interaction of both. Methods: The sample includes 400 people over 55 years old, who were divided into four groups, according to their age. The cognitive state of the participants was assessed through the MMSE test and three ranks were stablished. Gender was also considered in the analysis. Results: Certain temporal, fluency, rhythm, amplitude and voice quality parameters were found to be related to the cognitive state, while disturbance parameters changed due to age. Frequency parameters were exclusively influenced by gender. Conclusions: Understanding how speech parameters are specifically affected by age, cognitive state, or the interaction of both, is determinant to advance in the use of speech as a clinical marker for the detection of cognitive impairments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Selected Elements of Lifestyle and the Level of Functional Fitness in Older Women
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042066 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1016
Abstract
Background: The appropriate level of functional fitness is a very important element for seniors to maintain self-reliance in daily life. The aim of this research was to assess sociodemographic differences, selected elements of lifestyle, and functional fitness in the older residents of social [...] Read more.
Background: The appropriate level of functional fitness is a very important element for seniors to maintain self-reliance in daily life. The aim of this research was to assess sociodemographic differences, selected elements of lifestyle, and functional fitness in the older residents of social welfare homes and community dwellers Methods: The analysed group comprised 693 women aged 65–79, including 173 subjects living in social welfare homes and 520 community-dwelling women. Basic anthropometric features were measured, and functional fitness was assessed using the Senior Fitness Test. Basic sociodemographic characteristics, as well as data on health self-assessment and selected elements of lifestyle, were also collected. Results: The female residents of social welfare homes were found to have a lower body mass index (BMI), and they came from smaller cities, compared with community-dwelling older women. Furthermore, almost a third of them had no children and completed primary or vocational education. They also reported smoking, poor health conditions, and lack of physical activity. The functional fitness of women living in social welfare homes was significantly lower than in community-dwelling women. Conclusions: As seniors living in social welfare homes have such a significantly reduced level of functional fitness, compared with their peers living independently, it is necessary to include them in adaptive physical activity and diversified daily activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
Article
Health-Related Quality of Life (HRQoL) of People over 65 Years of Age
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 625; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020625 - 06 Jan 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1306
Abstract
Quality of life is an important indicator of the treatment process, lifestyle, and influence of many other factors, both exogenous and endogenous, on the body. Determining the quality of life of healthy people (health-related quality of life (HRQoL), considering the influence of various [...] Read more.
Quality of life is an important indicator of the treatment process, lifestyle, and influence of many other factors, both exogenous and endogenous, on the body. Determining the quality of life of healthy people (health-related quality of life (HRQoL), considering the influence of various factors, is important due to the possibility of making subsequent comparative analyses regarding the quality of life of people diagnosed with diseases. In addition, it allows us to identify the most crucial factors influencing the HRQoL in the process of “good aging”. The purpose of the study was to present the HRQoL level of healthy people over 65 years of age. HRQoL was measured in five-year age groups (66–70, 71–75, 76–80, >80 years), considering the analyzed factors. Finally, 1038 healthy people were included in the study. The inclusion criteria were as follows: no diagnosed chronic diseases, no permanent treatment in specialist clinics, and no constant administration of medicaments. A comparative analysis was carried out, assuming a 5% conclusion error. The SF-36 questionnaire assessing the main dimensions of the quality of life was the tool used in the study to assess the HRQoL: the physical component summary (PCS), mental component summary (MCS) and index of life quality (ILQ). The factors significantly differentiating the average level of HRQoL were as follows: gender, place of residence, education, employment status, smoking and physical activity. Relationship status (p > 0.05) was one of the analyzed factors that did not influence the differences in the average level of the perceived HRQoL. More than a twofold greater chance of a higher HRQoL was reported in the group of men under 75 years of age (66–70: OR = 2.01; 71–75: OR = 2.52) compared to the group of women. The same relationship was noted in the case of higher education in respondents up to the age of 80 (66–70: OR = 1.56; 71–75: OR = 2.16; 76–80: OR = 2.74). Smoking by people over 80 years of age significantly increased the chances of a higher HRQoL in each of the dimensions (PCS: OR = 4.09; MCS: OR = 12.64; ILQ: OR = 5.79). Age as a non-modifiable factor significantly differentiates the level of the HRQoL of healthy people over 65 years of age. The results of the conducted study on HRQoL can be helpful when comparing the HRQoL of healthy people with a group of people with chronic diseases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Article
Everyday Life and Social Contacts of Dementia and Non-Dementia Residents over 80 Years in Long-Term Inpatient Care: A Multi-Level Analysis on the Effect of Staffing
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11300; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111300 - 27 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1635
Abstract
The relationship between nurse staffing, physical outcomes of residents, as well as quality of care receives major attention. The impact of staffing levels on residents’ ability to organize their everyday life and maintain social contacts, however, has not been analyzed to date. This [...] Read more.
The relationship between nurse staffing, physical outcomes of residents, as well as quality of care receives major attention. The impact of staffing levels on residents’ ability to organize their everyday life and maintain social contacts, however, has not been analyzed to date. This study examines whether a relationship between the staff-to-resident ratio for registered nurses and nursing home residents with and without dementia aged over 80 exists. Secondary data collected in the project inQS (indikatorengestützte Qualitätsförderung) were used (n = 1782, mean age = 88.14). The analyzed cross-sectional data were collected in winter 2019 in facilities of the Diocesan Caritas Association in Germany. A sum score formed from variables measuring residents’ abilities to independently organize their everyday life and maintain social contacts functioned as the dependent variable. A multi-level regression analysis was performed. The results revealed that the ability of residents without dementia was significantly associated with the staff-to-resident ratio of registered nurses. This was not true for residents with dementia. For the latter, however, whether the facility offers a segregated care unit turned out to be significant. Additional and longitudinal research is indispensable to explain the inequality between the two groups analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Review

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Review
Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Physical Activity for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Diseases in the Elderly
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(1), 207; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19010207 - 25 Dec 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4282
Abstract
Cardiovascular diseases create an important burden on the public health systems, especially in the elderly, mostly because this group of patients frequently suffer from multiple comorbidities. Accumulating cardiovascular risk factors during their lifetime has a detrimental effect on an older adult‘s health status. [...] Read more.
Cardiovascular diseases create an important burden on the public health systems, especially in the elderly, mostly because this group of patients frequently suffer from multiple comorbidities. Accumulating cardiovascular risk factors during their lifetime has a detrimental effect on an older adult‘s health status. The modifiable and non-modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are very diverse, and are frequently in a close relationship with the metabolic comorbidities of the elderly, mainly obesity and Diabetes Mellitus. In this review, we aim to present the most important cardiovascular risk factors which link aging and cardiovascular diseases, starting from the pathophysiological links between these factors and the aging process. Next, we will further review the main interconnections between obesity and Diabetes Mellitus and cardiovascular diseases of the elderly. Lastly, we consider the most important aspects related to prevention through lifestyle changes and physical activity on the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases in the elderly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Review
Effects of Exercise Training on Cardiopulmonary Function and Quality of Life in Elderly Patients with Pulmonary Fibrosis: A Meta-Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(14), 7643; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18147643 - 18 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2318
Abstract
(1) Objective: Our objective was to conduct a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that have evaluated the benefits of exercise training for elderly pulmonary fibrosis (PF) patients. (2) Methods: Studies in either English or Chinese were retrieved from the China National Knowledge Infrastructure [...] Read more.
(1) Objective: Our objective was to conduct a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that have evaluated the benefits of exercise training for elderly pulmonary fibrosis (PF) patients. (2) Methods: Studies in either English or Chinese were retrieved from the China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) and the Wanfang, PubMed, Web of Science and SPORTDiscus databases from inception until the first week of April 2021. Age, body mass index (BMI), and exercise frequency, intensity, type, and duration were considered for each participant. The specific data recorded were the six-minute walk distance (6MWD), maximal rate of oxygen consumption (peak VO2), predicted forced vital capacity (FVC% pred), predicted diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (DLCO% pred), predicted total lung capacity (TLC% pred), St. George’s respiratory questionnaire (SGRQ) total score and a modified medical research council score (mMRC). (3) Results: Thirteen studies comprised this meta-analysis (eleven randomized controlled trials and two prospective studies design), wherein 335 patients were exercised and 334 were controls. The results showed that exercise training increased the 6MWD (Cohen’s d = 0.77, MD = 34.04 (95% CI, 26.50–41.58), p < 0.01), peak VO2 (Cohen’s d = 0.45, MD = 1.13 (95% CI, 0.45–1.82), p = 0.0001) and FVC% pred (Cohen’s d = 0.42, MD = 3.94 (95% CI, 0.91–6.96), p = 0.01). However, exercise training reduced scores for the SGRQ (Cohen’s d = 0.89, MD = −8.79 (95% CI, −10.37 to −7.21), p < 0.01) and the mMRC (Cohen’s d = 0.64, MD = −0.58 (95% CI, −0.79 to −0.36), p < 0.01). In contrast, exercise training could not increase DLCO% pred (Cohen’s d = 0.16, MD = 1.86 (95% CI, −0.37–4.09), p = 0.10) and TLC% pred (Cohen’s d = 0.02, MD = 0.07 (95% CI, −6.53–6.67), p = 0.98). Subgroup analysis showed significant differences in frequency, intensity, type, and age in the 6MWD results (p < 0.05), which were higher with low frequency, moderate intensity, aerobic–resistance–flexibility–breathing exercises and age ≤ 70. Meanwhile, the subgroup analysis showed significant differences in exercise intensity and types in the mMRC results (p < 0.05), which were lower with moderate intensity and aerobic–resistance exercises. (4) Conclusions: Exercise training during pulmonary rehabilitation can improved cardiopulmonary endurance and quality of life in elderly patients with PF. The 6MWDs were more noticeable with moderate exercise intensity, combined aerobic–resistance–flexibility–breathing exercises and in younger patients, which all were not affected by BMI levels or exercise durations. As to pulmonary function, exercise training can improve FVC% pred, but has no effect on DLCO% pred and TLC% pred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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Other

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Brief Report
Greater Risk of Negative Health Outcomes of Older Adults Living Alone in Vietnam: A Community Survey
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11115; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111115 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1528
Abstract
In modern Asian societies, there has been a shift in the living arrangements of older adults away from living with others. Knowing the health characteristics of individuals living alone can help identify high-risk groups. This cross-sectional study aimed to describe characteristics of the [...] Read more.
In modern Asian societies, there has been a shift in the living arrangements of older adults away from living with others. Knowing the health characteristics of individuals living alone can help identify high-risk groups. This cross-sectional study aimed to describe characteristics of the Vietnamese older adults and to investigate the association between living alone and their reported health outcomes by utilizing survey data of individuals aged ≥60 years in Vietnam in 2018. The community survey included questions about sociodemographic factors, living arrangement, and self-reported physical functional status. Multivariate logistic regression was used to examine whether or not living alone was a predictor of health outcomes. Of 725 study participants, 8.9% lived alone. These participants were more likely to be female, aged 70–79 years, living in rural areas, and currently single or previously married. After adjusting for covariates, older adults who were living alone were more likely to have arthritis (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.10–3.45), a history of falling (AOR = 2.44, 95% CI: 1.02–5.82), visual difficulties (AOR = 1.89, 95% CI: 1.04–3.41), feelings of loneliness (AOR = 1.95, 95% CI: 1.10–3.47), and high fear of falling (AOR = 1.88, 95% CI: 1.02–3.46). Older adults living alone in Vietnam were at greater risk of negative health consequences than those living with others. Screening and providing adequate social support for this specific population is important in preventing the adverse effects of solitary living among these older adults. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Life and Health of the Elderly)
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