Characteristics of 32 Supercentenarians

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES

To report phenotypic characteristics of 32 age-validated supercentenarians.

DESIGN

Case series.

SETTING

U.S.-based recruitment effort.

PARTICIPANTS

Thirty-two supercentenarians.

MEASUREMENTS

Multiple forms of proof were used to validate age claims. Sociodemographic, activities of daily living, and medical history data were collected.

RESULTS

Age range was 110 to 119. Fifty-nine percent had Barthel Index scores in the partially to totally dependent range, whereas 41% required minimal assistance or were independent. Few subjects had a history of clinically evident vascular-related diseases, including myocardial infarction (n = 2, 6%) and stroke (n = 4, 13%). Twenty-two percent (n = 7) were taking medications for hypertension. Twenty-five percent (n = 8) had a history of cancer (all cured). Diabetes mellitus (n = 1, 3%) and Parkinson's disease (n = 1, 3%) were rare. Osteoporosis (n = 14, 44%) and cataract history (n = 28, 88%) were common.

CONCLUSION

Data collected thus far suggest that supercentenarians markedly delay and even escape clinical expression of vascular disease toward the end of their exceptionally long lives. A surprisingly substantial proportion of these individuals were still functionally independent or required minimal assistance.

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