How comparable are healthy 60- and 80-year-old men?

E. J. Metter, D. Walega, E. L. Metter, J. Pearson, L. J. Brant, B. S. Hiscock, J. L. Fozard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


A critical issue in cross-sectional aging studies is the comparability of subjects of different ages, particularly regarding health status. For example, it is typically assumed that healthy 60-year-old men are equivalent to healthy 80-year-old men when both age groups are selected using the same criteria. The 60-year-old, however, may not survive or be healthy at age 80. To examine this issue, 212 healthy 60-year-old men in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging were identified. By life table analysis, 30% were expected to survive and remain healthy to age 80. In this study, 61 healthy 60-year-old men were followed to age 80. When compared with 125 healthy 80- year-old men, they had more heart disease, cancer, stroke, arterial, digestive, and peripheral nervous system diseases. Twenty-seven of the 61 men (44%) actually continued to be healthy at age 80. At age 60, systolic pressure and total serum cholesterol were predictive of who would be healthy at age 80.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)M73-M78
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging


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