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Research on the prediction of longevity from both individual and family perspectives.
Published on: January 17, 2024
Original author: Lvqing Miao, et al. (2022) (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0263992)
This study addresses the growing challenges posed by population aging, particularly in China, where the proportion of elderly individuals has surged. With the elderly constituting a significant demographic, there's an increasing demand for aging care. The 'elderly health promotion action,' part of China's 'healthy China action (2019–2030),' emphasizes the comprehensive nature of health, including mental well-being and social functional integrity. The research explores the mental health standards for the elderly, focusing on cognitive functioning, emotions, self-evaluation, interpersonal relationships, and environmental adaptation. Psychosocial factors are identified as pivotal in influencing mental health among the elderly. The study delves into various factors affecting human longevity, such as genetics, personality traits, and social support. Heredity, especially evident in centenarians and their offspring, plays a crucial role in longevity. Personality traits, particularly conscientiousness and emotional stability, are linked to a longer and healthier life. Additionally, family emotional support is recognized as a significant contributor to both physical and mental health in the elderly. The research aims to bridge the gap in understanding predictors of longevity, particularly from a family perspective. It sets hypotheses regarding differences between longevous and ordinary elderly individuals and families, emphasizing the importance of psychosocial variables. Methodology: The methodology involves a robust sampling strategy, combining cluster and random sampling, and applying exclusion criteria related to cognitive impairments and deafness. Demographic and psychosocial data are collected through interviews and assessments, including the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire-Revised and the Social Support Rating Scale. Results: Individual differences reveal that longevous elderly exhibit more females, higher rates of widowed individuals, and fewer habits like smoking. Psychosocially, longevous elderly show higher extraversion, lower neuroticism, but lower social support compared to ordinary elderly. Family differences highlight similarities in demographics, while longevous families have lower neuroticism. Logistic regression models predict individual longevity with lower neuroticism, higher social support, and no smoking habit. Family longevity is predicted by lower neuroticism and higher psychoticism. Conclusion: The study underscores the importance of emotional stability, positive social support, and healthy habits for individual longevity. Family longevity is influenced by stable emotional states and certain personality traits. Recommendations include updating health perspectives, improving social support, and optimizing pension service models. The findings contribute to a comprehensive understanding of healthy aging and provide insights for policymakers and society. Impact of the research: The study suggests better ways for older people to live healthier, like changing bad habits and getting more emotional support.
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