Changes in Health among the Participants of the Framingham Heart Study from 1960s to 1990s: Application for an Index of Cumulative Deficits

Alexander Kulminski, Duke University
Konstantin G. Arbeev, Duke University
Svetlana V. Ukraintseva, Duke University
Irina V Culminskaya, Duke University
Igor Akushevich, Duke University

We used an index of cumulative deficits (DI) to investigate whether improvements documented in the general population along major health dimensions were evident at the basic level of health assessment associated with small changes in the aging-related health deterioration. We considered the 9th (performed in 1964) and 14th (1974) Framingham Heart and 5th (1991-1995) Offspring Study exams and selected 37 small-effect deficits to construct the DIs. The 37-deficit DI shows trends for improvements in health for the 5-year age groups ranging 55-to-75 years between the 1960s and 1990s. We identified also deficits-specific DIs which age patterns tend to exhibit upward trends (5-deficits DI), no trends (18-deficits DI), and downward trends (12-deficits DI) between the 1960s and 1990s. The 12-deficits DI is stronger predictor of the long-term mortality risks than the other indices. The analyses show favorable tendencies when health either did not change or improved over time for the most serious small-effect traits.

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Presented in Session 141: Life Course Connections