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Health and Physical Functioning Among Older Danes in the Beginning of the 21st Century – a Public Health Perspective

It is estimated that the number of old and oldest old will increase markedly in the years to come in Denmark. With more individuals reaching old age it is important to understand and to continuously monitor the health and physical functioning among older Danes.

Older individuals represent a diverse group of the population - including individuals both at the labor marked and in nursing homes. This implies that `good health´ in old age can be measured by a large variety of health measurements, and different health measurements will often be relevant in different settings. In order to provide a comprehensive evaluation of health among older individuals, it is relevant to include multiple measurements of good health in old age.

Based on several health measurements, an improvement in health among older individuals has been reported, e.g. regarding cognitive functioning. However, other health measurements have yielded other results, e.g. an increase in the prevalence of obesity among older adults. This illustrate that the change in health among older individuals can differ depending on the specific health measurement. Furthermore, different changes can be observed among different age groups, different geographic locations, and sexes.


The overall aim of this project is to study health and physical functioning among Danes aged 65+ in the beginning of the 21st century based on comparative and combined analyses of existing literature and health surveys.

This Ph.D.-study will provide: 

  • A literature review on changes in health and physical functioning among older Danes in the beginning of the 21st century.
  • A comparative and combined analysis of self-rated health and physical functioning based on different health surveys conducted among older Danes in the 21st century.
  • An analysis of changes in hospitalization patterns of specific diagnoses among older Danes in the beginning of the 21st century – an age-period-cohort analysis.


  • Demography of Sex Differences in Health and Survival
  • Faculty scholarship


Kaare Christensen (main supervisor), Bernard Jeune, Mikael Thinggaard, and Rune Lindahl-Jacobsen.

PhD Student

Ida Kyvsgaard


Aging Research

Research area

About: Aging

EBB - Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Biodemography Department of Public Health University of Southern Denmark

  • J.B. Winsløws Vej 9
  • Odense C - DK-5000
  • Phone: +45 6550 3029

Last Updated 08.04.2021