Very old maintain independence through 100th year
Danish researchers assessed the health, mental capacity and independence of Danes in their 90s over the 10-year run-up to their 100th birthdays. Although only 166 of the original 2,300 subject survived long enough to reach the century mark, researchers made an interesting discovery: The percentage of those able to take care of themselves in their early 90s was roughly the same as those able to take care of themselves into their 100s. A total of 37% of participants maintained an independent lifestyle at the start of the survey and 33% continued to do so at the end of it.
Because of the independence of the super-elderly, researchers say that a boom in this population might not have a major impact on healthcare expenditures. Findings appear in the August 18-22 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.