Changes in Physical, Mental, and Social Profiles of a Rare Ageing Cohort

By: Sarah Assaad   Carol Brayne   Jane Fleming  

The world’s older population is growing at unprecedented rates; the proportion aged ≥60 is projected to reach 22% in 2050, double the figure in 2015, with particularly marked growth in “older old” populations. Societal responses need to be based on good data from populations, both quantitative and qualitative. Here we present data from a rare 28-year-long study of older old people, the Cambridge City over-75s Cohort. Structured interviews were conducted with a total of 2610 participants aged 75+ years at baseline (1985-87) followed-up until all participants had died through 9 additional survey waves ending in 2013. The paper describes quantitatively physical, mental, and social profiles of the cohort across the waves. Social wellbeing is captured through questions on social relationships, social networks, social support, and social participation. Physical health is assessed from self-reported comorbidities and the level of impairment in activities of daily living is used as a proxy for disability. The Mini-Mental State Examination test and a depressive symptoms score provide indicators of brain health. The relationship of the positive dimensions across the waves are explored in relation to socio-demographic factors such as age, gender, marital status, education, social class, and living situation. Utilization of health and social care services is a main study outcome, expected to be related to cognitive impairment, disability, and physical and mental health status. Whether social wellbeing changes this relationship is explored.

Ageing, Care Needs, Social Wellbeing, Service Use
Social and Cultural Perspectives on Aging
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Sarah Assaad

PhD Candidate, Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge

Sarah is a public health researcher from Lebanon currently pursuing her PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. Her project aims at describing the patterns of change in health and social care needs of the older olds and the role of social wellbeing in healthy ageing. She is analysing data from the a rare cohort study of 28 years of follow up, the Cambridge City over 75s Cohort. She holds a BS in Medical Laboratory Sciences and a Master in Public Health with emphasis on Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. She also coordinated the implementation of the first 10/66 Dementia cohort study in Lebanon (2016-17).

Carol Brayne

Professor and Director, Cambridge Institute of Public Health

Jane Fleming

Senior Research Associate, Cambridge Institute of Public Health