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Centenarians have survived into very late life, but whether they reach very old age in good health remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to compare the cardiovascular health status and cognitive functioning of centenarians in the United States with centenarians in Japan.
Design, Setting, and Participants:
This cross-national design compared centenarians from the United States and Japan. The sample of U.S. centenarians was recruited from the Georgia Centenarian Study and included 287 centenarians. The sample of Japanese centenarians was recruited from the Tokyo Centenarian Study and included 304 centenarians.
Cognitive functioning was assessed with a mental status questionnaire, and cardiovascular disease by a health history assessment, blood pressure, and selected blood parameters.
The results suggest that Tokyo centenarians had lower disease experiences and BMI values, when compared to Georgia centenarians, but blood pressure was higher among Japanese centenarians. Lower levels of hemoglobin in Japanese centenarians and higher levels of C-reactive protein in Georgia were also found. The positive association of hypertension and albumin levels with cognitive functioning and the negative association of stroke occurrence with cognitive functioning were replicated in both countries. Differential effects were obtained for heart problems, BMI, and C-reactive protein (with positive effects for Tokyo centenarians, except for C-reactive protein).
For extremely old individuals, some markers of cardiovascular disease are replicable across countries, whereas differential effects for cardiovascular health also need to be considered in cardiovascular health.
Dietary questionnaires for assessing dietary intakes among populations of individuals aged 80 years or older (the very old) are very limited. We examined the relative validity of forty-three nutrients and twenty-seven food groups estimated by a brief-type self-administered diet history questionnaire (BDHQ) targeting very old Japanese, using semi-weighed dietary records (DR) as a reference.
Between June and August 2012 and between June 2015 and February 2016, a three-day non-consecutive DR (at two-week intervals) and a BDHQ were completed.
Tokyo, the capital prefecture of Japan.
Eighty very old Japanese (thirty-six men and forty-four women) aged 82–94 years.
The median intakes of 40–70 % of the crude and energy-adjusted nutrients estimated by the BDHQ were significantly different from those estimated by the DR. The median Spearman’s correlation coefficient of nutrient intakes between the BDHQ and the DR was 0·39–0·46. About half (48–56 %) of the food groups were significantly different in terms of the median intakes estimated by the BDHQ and the DR in crude and energy-adjusted values. The median Spearman’s correlation coefficient between the BDHQ and the DR was 0·45–0·48.
Acceptable Spearman’s correlations (≥0·3) were obtained for many dietary intakes among the very old Japanese population. The BDHQ is a good candidate for epidemiological studies among very old Japanese, although, for some nutrients and food groups, the difficulty of estimating accurate median intakes is one of the limitations for the tool. Further efforts to enhance the validity of the BDHQ for very old populations are needed.
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