BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While predictors of survival in older people have been examined in depth in a large number of studies, a literature search revealed no cross-national comparative prospective cohort studies on this issue. This study investigated survival and its predictors from age 75 to 85 among three local Nordic populations using survival data on national cohorts as background information.
METHODS: The data were derived from national registers and from samples of 75-year old living in Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. The subjects were invited to take part in interviews and examinations focusing on different domains of health, functional capacity, and physical and social activities.
RESULTS: The proportion of survivors to age 75 was markedly smaller among the Finnish men and women than Danish or Swedish subjects. In the local population no marked differences in survival from age 75 to 85 were observed between the groups of men, while women survived longer than men and longer in Göteborg than in Glostrup or Jyväskylä. Univariate models revealed 12 predictors of survival. In the multivariate models, the significant predictors among men related to physical fitness, whereas among women they pertained to social activities and morbidity.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite great differences in the proportions of survivors to age 75, and excepting the survival advantage of women, only minor differences were present in the subjects' further survival to age 85. In the univariate analyses, many of the factors predictive of survival from age 75 to 85 were the same in the examined populations, whereas in the multivariate analyses differences between the sexes emerged.