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The Sydney Centenarian Study: methodology and profile of centenarians and near-centenarians

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 March 2013

Perminder S. Sachdev
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Charlene Levitan
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
John Crawford
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Mamta Sidhu
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Melissa Slavin
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Robyn Richmond
Affiliation:
School of Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Nicole Kochan
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
Henry Brodaty
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Academic Department for Old Age Psychiatry, Prince of Wales Hospital, Avoca Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
Wei Wen
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
Kristan Kang
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Karen A. Mather
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia Neuropsychiatric Institute, Prince of Wales Hospital, Barker Street, Randwick, NSW 2031, Australia
the Sydney Centenarian Study Team
Affiliation:
Brain & Ageing Research Program, Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing, School of Psychiatry, UNSW Medicine, University of New South Wales, Kensington, NSW 2052, Australia
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

Background: The study of exceptionally long-living individuals can inform us about the determinants of successful aging. There are few population-based studies of centenarians and near-centenarians internationally, but none in Australia.

Methods: Individuals 95 years and older were recruited from seven electoral districts in Sydney using the electoral roll, Medicare lists, and multiple other strategies to obtain a representative sample. Physical and mental health and cognitive status were assessed using standard instruments in multiple sessions, with assessments individually adapted. An informant was interviewed, and participants were invited to donate a blood sample, undergo an MRI scan, and enrol into the brain donation program.

Results: Preliminary data on the first 200 participants are reported. Mean age was 97.4 years (range 95–106), with 29.5% being men, and 58.5% living in a private dwelling. Rates of heart disease and diabetes were lower than in octogenarians, but hearing and visual deficits were common. The mean mini-mental state examination (MMSE) score was 21.1, with men performing better. Rates of psychological distress were low and satisfaction with life high (mean 5.91 out of a maximum of 7); 54% scored <24 on MMSE; 39.5% were impaired on both MMSE and a functional measure; and 20% had previous diagnosis of dementia.

Conclusions: This is a preliminary report describing the methodology of the study. It provides further evidence that dementia is not inevitable at this age and independent living is common. The study provides an excellent resource to determine the genetic and environmental contributions to long and successful cognitive aging.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2013

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