Sense of coherence (SOC) related to health and mortality among the very old: the Umeå 85+ study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2010 Nov-Dec;51(3):329-32. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2010.01.013. Epub 2010 Feb 19.


We describe associations between sense of coherence (SOC) and sense of well-being, diseases, physical function and the predictive value of SOC on depression and mortality. The study included 190 participants, aged 85-103 years. Linear correlation analysis was used for relationships between SOC scores and continuous variables. The effects of SOC score on 1- and 4-year mortality, as well as on depression at the 5-year follow-up, were investigated using Cox regression models. The mean SOC score was 71.8±10.2 (±S.D.). SOC score was positively related to well-being (p≤0.001). Heart failure (p=0.009), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (p=0.015), depression (p=0.015), and osteoarthritis (p=0.032) were significantly associated with low SOC scores, as were high scores on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) (p=0.002). One-year mortality was significantly associated with the SOC score (OR=0.945, confidence interval (CI)=0.898-0.995, p=0.032), while the 4-year mortality was not (OR=0.995, CI=0.973-1.018, p=0.674). The SOC score did not predict depression at 5-year follow-up (OR=0.977, CI=0.937-1.018, p=0.267). Strong SOC was associated with well-being in this group of old people. Low SOC was found among those with diseases known to have a negative influence on daily life.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Health Status*
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Heart Failure / psychology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Osteoarthritis / epidemiology
  • Osteoarthritis / psychology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / epidemiology
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / psychology
  • Quality of Life
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology