Health status of the elderly and very old in Germany: Results of the Gesundheit 65+ study
Background: The demographic change makes comprehensive health reporting on health at older age an important topic. Methods: Gesundheit 65+ is a longitudinal epidemiological study on the health status of persons aged 65 and older in Germany. Based on a two-stage stratified random sample from 128 local population registers, 3,694 persons participated in the baseline survey between June 2021 and April 2022 (47.9 % women, mean age 78.8 years). Weighted prevalences for 19 indicators of the baseline survey are presented overall and by age, sex, education and region of residence. Results: Overall, 52.0 % of all participants of the baseline survey reported to be in good or very good health, and 78.5 % reported high or very high satisfaction with their life. This was in contrast to the large number of health/functional limitations whose prevalences ranged from 5.3 % for severe visual limitations to 69.2 % for multimorbidity. The health status of women was clearly worse than that of men, and the health status of persons aged 80 and older was worse than between 65 and 79 years of age. There was a clear educational gradient evident in the health status, but there were no differences between West and East Germany. Conclusions: Gesundheit 65+ provides a comprehensive database for description of the health status of old and very old people in Germany, on the basis of which recommendations for action for policy and practice can be derived.
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