Are older people becoming younger?
Cohort differences in perceived age and functional capacity among 75- and 80-year-old people assessed 28 years apart (The Evergreen 2)
(Evergreen 2)

Main funder

Funds granted by main funder (€)

448 849,00

Funding program

Academy Project, AoF (Academy of Finland)

Project timetable

Project start date: 01/09/2017

Project end date: 31/08/2022


Knowledge on cohort effects on functional capacity of older people is scarce. This study examines whether objective measures of functional capacity and subjective age differ between two cohorts of 75- and 80-year-old people assessed 28 years apart, and explores whether socio-economic and life-style changes explain the potential differences. An additional goal is to study physical activity, task accommodation and mobility barriers and facilitators as modifiers of the pathway to disability. The critical points for success are attaining participation rate comparable to the reference data (Evergreen I conducted in 1989-1990), and standardization of assessments.
In the recruitment are there will be about 650 people aged 75 or 80 years in 2017 (born in 1937 and 1942; 40% men and 60% women; targeted participation rate 75% and sample size 500). This will give 80% power to observe a 5% difference between the cohorts if the standard deviation is 25-30 % of the mean, as in Evergreen I data (calculation based on grip strength). The physical functions to be tested (strength, walking, postural control, sensory functions) are the building blocks of daily activities. The current study will create novel knowledge on cohort differences in perceived age and objective and self-rated functioning of older people, and factors that underlie the potential changes in functioning. The cross-sectional analyses of mobility barriers and facilitators will create new hypothesis for future prospective studies. The results will be communicated to the scientific community through articles in scientific
journals and presentations in scientific and professional congresses, press releases and social media. The intellectual property rights of the Evergreen I and II are owned by the University of Jyväskylä. The study will be conducted in Gerontology Research Center (GEREC, University of Jyväskylä) which has been awarded for excellence in scientific leadership and informing the public about ageing issues. University of Jyväskylä ethics committee will provide the ethical statement once the project has received a positive funding decision.The project team includes highly valued national and international researchers and collaborators. The project will have a significant effect on promoting research careers of junior scientists. I apply 538 833 € from the Academy of Finland (70% of the total
cost). University of Jyväskylä will provide 30%. I will dedicate 20% of working hours for this project.

Principal Investigator

Primary responsible unit

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Last updated on 2020-26-06 at 15:07