Time trends and determinants of disability in activities of daily living among elderly people in central Stockholm, 1987-2013

PI: Chengxuan Qiu, chengxuan.qiu@ki.se

This project examines whether the occurrence of disability in activities of daily living (ADL) increased between 1987 and 2013 in older people living in the Kungsholmen area of central Stockholm. ADLs are basic self-care tasks, such as bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, and toileting. We will also investigate the extent to which changes in lifestyle (e.g., smoking, drinking alcohol, and physical exercise), metabolic factors (e.g., hypertension, obesity, and diabetes), and chronic health conditions (e.g., heart disease, stroke, and cognitive impairment) may contribute to the time trends in disability in ADL in older people.

We will achieve the study aims by analyzing data from the Kungsholmen project on people aged 75+ years (1987-2000) and the Swedish National study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen (SNAC-K) on a sample of people aged 60+ years (2001-2013).

This study is important because late-life disability in ADL significantly affects older people’s quality of life, increases the need for and cost of long-term care and social services, and reduces life expectancies. Findings from this project can help policy makers plan and allocate health care resources and develop intervention strategies to delay the onset of ADL disability and thus aid in meeting the European Union’s target of a 2-year increase in healthy life years in the next decade.

The project is funded by Forte, the Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare.