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Social Factors and Healthy Aging: Findings from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS)

Katie E. Cherry, Jennifer Silva Brown, Sangkyu Kim, and S. Michal Jazwinski

Social behaviors are associated with health outcomes in later life. The authors examined relationships among social and physical activities and health in a lifespan sample of adults (N = 771) drawn from the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study (LHAS). Four age groups were compared: younger (21–44 years), middle-aged (45–64 years), older (65–84 years), and oldest-old adults (85–101 years). Linear regression analyses indicated that physical activity, hours spent outside of the house, and social support were significantly associated with selfreported health, after controlling for sociodemographic factors. Number of clubs was significantly associated with objective health status, after controlling for sociodemographic factors. These data indicate that social and physical activities remain important determinants of self-perceived health into very late adulthood. Implications of these data for current views on successful aging are discussed.

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Perceived Health Status Is Associated With Hours of Exercise per Week in Older Adults Independent of Physical Health

Joanna Edel McHugh and Brian A. Lawlor


Perceived health status does not always reflect actual health status. We investigated the association between objective and self-rated measures of health status and hours of exercise per week in older adults.


As part of the TRIL clinic assessment, we gathered information from 473 community dwelling adults over the age of 65, regarding hours spent per week exercising, depression, personality, perceived health status, and objective health status (in the form of a comorbidity count). Regression analyses were performed on these data to investigate whether perceived health status, objective health status, personality and mood are associated with hours of exercise per week.


Perceived and objective health status were significantly but weakly correlated. Both perceived and objective health status, as well as depression, were independently associated with hours of exercise per week.


We conclude that exercise uptake in older adults is contingent on both perceived and objective health status, as well as depression. Perceived health status has a stronger association with exercise uptake in older adults with lower depression levels. The current findings have implications for designing exercise interventions for older adults.

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Masters Athletes: Exemplars of Successful Aging?

David Geard, Peter R.J. Reaburn, Amanda L. Rebar, and Rylee A. Dionigi

objective health status: a population-based study . BMC Public Health, 13 ( 1 ), 1 – 9 . PubMed doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-13-320 10.1186/1471-2458-13-320 Xu , L. , Jiang , C.Q. , Lam , T.H. , Zhang , W.S. , Thomas , G.N. , & Cheng , K.K. ( 2011 ). Dose-response relation between physical