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Long tradition of cohort studies in Denmark

Many more survive to their 100th birthday

Signe Høi Rasmussen has visited many old people – and she is surprised at how well they manage.

The decline in old age mortality has led to an increasing proportion of very old people. And as aging is associated with a higher risk of physical and cognitive disabilities,  it is of interest to know whether the functional health of today’s oldest-olds is better or worse than in previous cohorts.

Long tradition of centenarian studies in Denmark

At the Danish Aging Research Center we have a long tradition for studying birth cohorts. Previous studies have laid ground for studies of the secular trends in the health and functioning of the very old Danes in four complete birth cohorts: the 1895, 1905, 1910 and 1915 birth cohorts.

Key findings

  • Healthy centenarians do not exist, but autonomous centenarians do
  • Exceptional longevity does not lead to exceptional levels of disability
  • The 1905 Birth Cohort vs the 1915 Birth Cohort - a success of success
  • No association between survuval in the oldest-old and the "usual suspects"
  • Centenarians - a useful model of healthy aging

Presentation of Centenarian Studies

Centenarian studies have often embraced the successful aging theory and found centenarians to be exceptionally healthy. In the recently published book: Encyclopedia of Geropsychology, Signe Høi Rasmussen and Professor Karen Andersen-Ranberg give a short presentation of several international birth cohort studies investigating health in centenarians from around the world.
Springer Verlag...


PhD Student Signe Høi Rasmussen

Recent publications

Cohort Profile: The 1895, 1905, 1910 and 1915 Danish Birth Cohort Studies - secular trends in the health and functioning of the very old.
Rasmussen SH, Andersen-Ranberg K, Thinggaard M, Jeune B, Skytthe A, Christiansen L, Vaupel JW, McGue M, Christensen K.
Int J Epidemiol. 2017. [Epub ahead of print] Pubmed abstract

Health in Centenarians.
Signe Hoei Rasmussen & Karen Andersen-Ranberg
In: Pachanz Nancy A (red.): Encyclopedia of Geropsychology 2017; side 1005-1018; Springer Verlag.
Springer Verlag

The 1915 Birth Cohort Study
Health Profiles of 100-Year-Old Danes Including Cardivascular Assessment.
About the project...


Editing was completed: 26.06.2017