A Health Profile of Community-Living Nonagenarians in Canada

Wister, Andrew V.; Wanless, Deanna
March 2007
Canadian Journal on Aging;Spring2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p1
Academic Journal
Due to increasing life expectancy over time, persons who live into their nineties, known as nonagenarians, are an important and growing segment of the Canadian population. In 2001, there were 130,325 nonagenarians (compared to 3,795 centenarians), and it is estimated that they will top 400,000 by 2026. This paper provides a health profile and an exploratory analysis of selected social determinants of health for community-living nonagenarians, using the 2001 Canadian Community Health Survey (Statistics Canada, 2003). Perceived health, a selection of prevalent chronic illnesses, and several health behaviours are examined. One dominant pattern is the tendency for male nonagenarians to be in better health than their female counterparts. This finding is consistent with research on centenarians and is discussed in terms of a mortality selection effect. Other key findings include the strength of sense of belonging, income, and physical activity as potential social determinants of health, connected to particular dimensions of health status.


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