Patterns of health and functioning associated with exceptional longevity have not recently been described or analyzed in the United States at the population level. Neither the antecedents of exceptional healthy longevity nor pathways to exceptional longevity have been evaluated. Population forecasts that explicitly consider interventions have yet to be presented.
Until recently data was not available to represent the entire aged population or the exceptionally aged population from one source (Corder & Manton, 1991). Information on physical health in terms of functioning is a multi-dimensional concept requiring direct queries of large numbers of survey sample persons. Since 1984 the National Long Term Care Surveys have uniformly measured health and functioning for the aged U.S. population including institutionalized persons with a sample design that selects high-risk individuals including the exceptionally aged. Selected subjects are part of subsequent samples. Over-samples of the 95+ populations were selected in 1994 and 1999.
This resource is used to describe patterns of health and functioning over time among long-lived individuals using discrete multivariate methods, and forecasts conditioned on specific interventions.