Disability and mortality trajectories of the oldest old in China

HU Xiaoqian1 GAO Qilong1 ZHAO Can1 WEI Jingming1 SUN Xueshan1 GU Yuxuan1 ZHEN Xuemei1 LI Yuanyuan1 DONG Hengjin1

(1.School of Medicine, Center for Health Policy Studies, Zhejiang University)

【Abstract】Using data collected from seven national follow-up surveys between 1998 and 2014 and a group-based trajectory model, this paper investigated ADL disability trajectories and mortality probability trajectories among the oldest old at the same time. We attempted to explain the membership in disability trajectory groups from three aspects, namely, demographic, socioeconomic and childhood characteristics. The analysis results showed that disability trajectories among the oldest old were heterogeneous. There were three trajectory groups for men, namely, one starting with a low level of disability that gradually progressed, one starting with a low level of disability that quickly progressed, and one starting with a high level of disability that gradually progressed. And there were three trajectory groups for women, too, namely, one starting with a low level of disability that gradually progressed, one starting with a low level of disability that quickly progressed, and one starting with a high level of disability that quickly progressed. Different groups of disability trajectories and mortality trajectories followed the same hierarchical distribution. Women’s mortality rate was often lower than men’s when they belonged to the same disability trajectory group. The residence location and the occupation affected the oldest old’ membership in disability trajectory groups.

【Keywords】 disability trajectory; mortality trajectory; group-based trajectory model; activity of daily living (ADLs); the oldest old;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (71490732)

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This Article


CN: 11-1489/C

Vol 43, No. 05, Pages 43-53

September 2019


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Literature review
  • 3 Data and research methods
  • 4 Key findings
  • 5 Discussions and conclusions
  • References