Predictors of healthy ageing: public health policy targets.
Sommaire de l'article
The public health policy agenda oriented towards healthy ageing becomes the highest priority for the European countries. The article discusses the healthy ageing concept and its possible determinants with an aim to identify behavioral patterns related to healthy ageing in selected European countries.
The healthy ageing is assessed based on a composite indicator of self-assessed health, functional capabilities and life meaningfulness. The logistic regression models are used to assess the impact of the healthy lifestyle index, psycho-social index and socio-economic status on the probability of healthy ageing (i.e. being healthy at older age). The lifestyle and psychosocial indexes are created as a sum of behaviors that might be important for healthy ageing. Models are analyzed for three age groups of older people: 60-67, 68-79 and 80+ as well as for three groups of countries representing Western, Southern and Central-Eastern Europe.
The lifestyle index covering vigorous and moderate physical activity, consumption of vegetables and fruits, regular consumption of meals and adequate consumption of liquids is positively related to healthy ageing, increasing the likelihood of being healthy at older age with each of the items specified in the index. The score of the index is found to be significantly higher (on average by 1 point for men and 1.1 for women) for individuals ageing healthily. The psychosocial index covering employment, outdoor social participation, indoor activities and life satisfaction is also found to be significantly related to health increasing the likelihood of healthy ageing with each point of the index score. There is an educational gradient in healthy ageing in the population below the age of 68 and in Southern and Central-Eastern European countries. In Western European countries, income is positively related to healthy ageing for females.
Stimulation physical activity and adequate nutrition are crucial domains for a well-defined public health policy oriented towards healthy ageing. The psychosocial elements related to social participation, engagement, networking and life satisfaction are also found to be health beneficial.