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Numbers of Centenarians Rising and Women Continue to Outlive Males

Author: Women's College Hospital : Contact: Julie Saccone - julie.saccone@wchospital.ca - Ph. 416-323-6400 x4054

Published: 2014-01-11

Synopsis and Key Points:

Study highlights findings that people are living longer and women make up a significant proportion of centenarians.

Main Digest

The number of centenarians in Ontario increased by more than 70 per cent over the last 15 years with women making up more than 85 per cent of people 100 or older, according to new research by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women's College Hospital.

The findings, published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , are among the first to examine centenarians in a large geographic population and the healthcare services they receive.

"Our study highlights that older people are living longer, and women make up a significant proportion of centenarians. The predominance of women among those of advanced age challenges us to consider tailoring health and social care to meet their particular needs," said Dr. Paula Rochon, lead author of the study and scientist at Women's College Research Institute and ICES.

The population-based study of centenarians used an estimated 1.8 million individuals 65 years of age and older. This study that documents changes to the size of the centenarian population over the past 15 years found:

"We need a better understanding of who centenarians are, and how and when they use the health care system in order to improve their health service delivery," adds Rochon.

Understanding the sociodemographic profile and health service use of centenarians is important to inform strategies to improve the delivery of health services for many individuals who will approach or achieve this milestone in the future, the authors note. Better understanding of the health services use of centenarians assists health care providers to inform their care decisions and for policy makers to aid in their planning for the delivery of healthcare services, they add.

The study "Demographics and health care use of centenarians: a population-based cohort study," was published today in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society .

Authors: Paula A. Rochon, Andrea Gruneir, Wei Wu, Sudeep S. Gill, Susan E. Bronskill, Dallas P. Seitz, Chaim M. Bell, Hadas D. Fischer, Anne Stephenson, Xuesong Wang, Andrea S. Gershon and Geoffrey M. Anderson.

More detailed study findings are available on the ICES website.

ICES is an independent, non-profit organization that uses population-based health information to produce knowledge on a broad range of health care issues. Our unbiased evidence provides measures of health system performance, a clearer understanding of the shifting health care needs of Ontarians, and a stimulus for discussion of practical solutions to optimize scarce resources. ICES knowledge is highly regarded in Canada and abroad, and is widely used by government, hospitals, planners, and practitioners to make decisions about care delivery and to develop policy.

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