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  • School of Public Health

    AG 8: Demography and health  

    Campus der Universität Bielefeld
    © Universität Bielefeld

Health of ageing populations

Remarkable improvements in life expectancy over the last two centuries in high-income countries have led to the proliferation of research on healthy aging. Most studies have found that despite increasing trends in the prevalence of chronic diseases and conditions, people under age 85 are more independent and less disabled than previous cohorts at the same ages.

In the last decade more research has been initiated to study not only how people are ageing, but also how they die. Using Nordic register data, we are studying variations in the onset of home care and long-term care use, as well as in place of death across various social groups. Our initial findings demonstrate that hospital deaths generally declined in Denmark from 1980 to 2014, except for the oldest-old individuals, diseases of the respiratory system and terminal hospitalizations lasting one to three days among the oldest-old. Findings of this project will be central to planning policies for end-of-life care.

This project also contributes methodologically to research on specific health phenotypes among the oldest-old, which may not be accurately measured through surveys. More specifically, using unique survey-register linked data available in Denmark, we investigate the following research questions: Does the inclusion of proxy-respondents lead to lower accuracy of survey responses and thus bias estimates? Did participation in longitudinal health surveys have actual effects on participants’ health behaviors? If so, were these effects gender-specific?



  1. Meinow, B., Li, P., Jasilionis, D., Oksuzyan, A., Sundberg, L., Kelfve, S., Wastesson, J.W. Trends over two decades in life expectancy with complex health problems among older Swedes: implications for the provision of integrated health care and social care. BMC Public Health 22, 759 (2022).
  2. Carollo, A., Calduch Verdiell, N. Hale, J.M., Andersen-Ranberg, K., Lindahl-Jacobsen, R., Oksuzyan, A. Declining trends in hospital deaths in Denmark from 1980 to 2014. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society JAGS 2018:1–6.
  3. Oksuzyan, A., Sauer, T., Gampe, J., Höhn, A., Wod, M., Christensen, K., Wastesson, J. Is whom you ask important? Concordance between survey and registry data on medication use among self- and proxy-respondents in the Longitudinal Study of Aging Danish Twins and the Danish 1905-Cohort Study. Journal of Gerontology: Series A 2019: 74(5); 742–747.
  4. Wastesson, J.W., Oksuzyan, A., Hjelmborg J, Christensen, K. Changes in Drug Use and Polypharmacy After the Age of 90: A Longitudinal Study of the Danish 1905 Cohort. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2017, 65(1): 160-164.
  5. Wastesson, J.W., Rasmussen, L., Oksuzyan, A., Hallas, J., Christensen, K., Pottegård, A. Drug use among complete responders, partial responders and non-responders in a longitudinal survey of nonagenarians: analysis of prescription register data. Pharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety 2017, 26(2): 152-161.
  6. Caputo, J., Danko, M.J., Brønnum-Hansen, H., Oksuzyan, A. Helpful Reminders? Health Survey Participation and Doctor’s Visits. (Survey Research Methods)


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