The European Challenge for Healthy Ageing (ECHA): Children and Nephews of Long Living

Jean-Marie Robine, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM)
Bernard Jeune, University of Southern Denmark, Institute of Public Health
Giovanna de Benedictis, Univ. Degli Studi della Calabria

In the framework of the European Challenge for Healthy Ageing (2002-2004), we have collected data on 752 children and nephews of oldest old women (98 years +) or men (95 years +) in three European countries (Denmark, France, Italy). The child constitutes with his first cousin a concordant pair when his cousin also has or has had a long living parent. Otherwise he constitutes a discordant pair where the parents of the cousin died before the age of 80 years. Using various data collected through survey questionnaires and cognitive and physical tests, we built several indicators of robustness/frailty to disentangle robust from frail children. One of our assumptions is that great longevity and especially healthy longevity is in part the result of previous robustness. Therefore we hypothesize that the children of long living parents present higher robustness than their first cousins whose parents died before the age of 80 years.

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Presented in Session 107: Biodemography and Population Genetics