Sociodemographic Factors Associated With Changes in Successful Aging in Spain: A Follow-Up Study

J Aging Health. 2018 Sep;30(8):1244-1262. doi: 10.1177/0898264317714327. Epub 2017 Jun 16.


Objective: Successful aging (SA) refers to maintaining well-being in old age. Several definitions or models of SA exist (biomedical, psychosocial, and mixed). We examined the longitudinal association between various SA models and sociodemographic factors, and analyzed the patterns of change within these models.

Method: This was a nationally representative follow-up in Spain including 3,625 individuals aged ≥50 years. Some 1,970 individuals were interviewed after 3 years. Linear regression models were used to analyze the survey data.

Results: Age, sex, and occupation predicted SA in the biomedical model, while marital status, educational level, and urbanicity predicted SA in the psychosocial model. The remaining models included different sets of these predictors as significant. In the psychosocial model, individuals tended to improve over time but this was not the case in the biomedical model.

Conclusion: The biomedical and psychosocial components of SA need to be addressed specifically to achieve the best aging trajectories.

Keywords: aging well; biomedical aging; psychosocial aging; successful aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Marital Status
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spain
  • Surveys and Questionnaires