The 90+ Study (Part II)


What is revealed by the “Oldest Old”
By Elizabeth Sukys-Rice

“The more sand that has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.”
― Jean-Paul Sartre

Major findings

Researchers from The 90+ Study have published many scientific papers in premier journals.  Some of the major findings are:

  • People who drank moderate amounts of alcohol or coffee lived longer than those who abstained.
  • People who were overweight in their 70s lived longer than normal or underweight people did.
  • Over 40% of people aged 90 and older suffer from dementia while almost 80% are disabled. Both are more common in women than in men.
  • About half of people with dementia over age 90 do not have sufficient neuropathology in their brain to explain their cognitive loss.
  • People aged 90 and older with an APOE2 gene are less likely to have clinical Alzheimer’s dementia but are much more likely to have Alzheimer’s neuropathology in their brains

Dementia Findings

Participants received dementia assessments every six months during the study, which began in 2003.

  • Researchers said 224, or 40%, of the participants, were eventually diagnosed with dementia.
  • Those who began to develop hypertension in their 80s were 42% less likely to develop dementia after age 90, compared with those who had no high blood pressure, according to the findings.
  • Those who began to experience hypertension at 90 or older were 63% less likely to develop dementia, the study indicated.
  • “It’s not saying that everybody who developed it, later on, didn’t get dementia,” Corrada said. “But on average, people who developed it at a higher age were less likely to develop dementia.”

Every year The 90+ Study hosts a luncheon to appreciate and honor those individuals that have given their time and efforts to the research study. With more and more people volunteering for the research, the attendance continues to grow.
Information provided in this blog was provided by the resources available by visiting

Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders

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