Predictors of disability in elderly Finnish men--a longitudinal study

J Clin Epidemiol. 1989;42(12):1215-25. doi: 10.1016/0895-4356(89)90120-0.


Factors predicting disability in late life were studied in 716 men from eastern or southwestern Finland in connection with the 25-year follow-up of the East-West Study, which is part of the Seven Countries Study, in 1984. In middle-aged men, low forced vital capacity, occurrence of diabetes, presence of intermittent claudication, high diastolic blood pressure, higher age and lower educational level showed the greatest predicting power for future disability 15-25 years later. In later middle age, low forced vital capacity, presence of intermittent claudication, cerebrovascular disease or coronary heart disease and higher age were the most powerful predictors for disability 10 years later. In order to lower disability in old age, it is important to prevent deterioration of ventilatory function and cardiovascular diseases in middle-aged populations and to treat chronic diseases adequately.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Finland
  • Forecasting
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity*
  • Prognosis
  • Regression Analysis