Survival Prognosis in Very Old Adults

Mikael Thinggaard, Matt McGue, Bernard Jeune, Merete Osler, James W. Vaupel, Kaare Christensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objectives To determine whether simple functional indicators are predictors of survival prognosis in very old adults. Design In-person survey conducted over a 3-month period in 1998; assessment of survival over a 15-year follow-up period. Setting Denmark. Participants All 3,600 Danes born in 1905 and living in Denmark in 1998, were invited to participate regardless of residence and health; 2,262 (63%) participated in the survey: 1,814 (80.2%) in person and 448 (19.8%) through a proxy. Measurements Socioeconomic factors, medications and diseases, activities of daily living, physical performance, cognition, depression symptomatology, self-rated health, and all-cause mortality, evaluated as average remaining lifespan and chance of surviving to 100 years. Results Men aged 92 to 93 had an overall 6.0% chance of surviving to 100 years, whereas the chance for women was 11.4%. Being able to rise without use of hands increased the chance for men to 11.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 7.7-14.7) and for women to 22.0% (95% CI = 18.9-25.1). When combining this with a Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) scores from 28 to 30, the chances were 21.7% (95% CI = 11.5-31.9) for men and 34.2% (95% CI = 24.8-43.5) for women. Conclusion Chair stand score combined with MMSE score is a quick and easy way to estimate overall chance of survival in very old adults, which is particularly relevant when treatment with potential side effects for nonacute diseases is considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-88
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, the Authors Journal compilation.


  • Mini-Mental State Examination
  • chair stand
  • clinical decision
  • mortality
  • nonagenarians


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