This talk explores several infrequently addressed questions pertaining to the survival of older adults. Social and health scientists have often used a simple question asking respondents to rate their overall health in several categories (a question often labelled 'self-rated health'). But can external assessors -- such as physicians or interviewers -- provide as good or perhaps better ratings than individuals themselves? How well do biological markers predict survival compared with a broad range of self-reported health information or socioeconomic variables? Is telomere length as strong a predictor as more conventional biological measures? How much do we gain in predictive ability by having measures of biomarkers at successive time points? Finally, how similar are the strongest predictors of survival across countries or social groups? These questions will be explored using data from recent national longitudinal surveys in the US and in countries with similar life expectancies.
columbiaagingcenter [at] cumc [dot] columbia [dot] edu