Prevalence and related factors of Active and Healthy Ageing in Europe according to two models: Results from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE)

Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA) is the process of optimizing opportunities related to health, participation, and safety in order to improve quality of life. The approach most often used to measure AHA is Rowe and Kahn’s Satisfactory Ageing model. Nonetheless, this model has limitations. One of the strategic objectives of the WHO Global Strategy and Action Plan (2016) is to improve Healthy Ageing measurement. Our objectives were to compare two models of assessing AHA and further compare the results by country and sociodemographic variables. Methods This was a cross-sectional, observational analysis of a representative sample of the general population aged 50 years and older in Europe. The data analysed were obtained by the Study of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE). The dependent variable was AHA and its dimensions, measured using the Rowe and Kahn AHA model (AHA-B) and the authors’ model based on the WHO definition (AHA-BPS). A descriptive analysis and multivariate models of binary logistical regression were developed. Results The sample consisted of 52,641 participants (mean age 65.24 years [SD = 10.18; Range = 50–104], 53.2% women). Healthy Ageing prevalence in the AHA-B model was 23.5% (95%CI = 23.1%-23.9%). In the AHA-BPS model, this prevalence was 38.9%. In both models, significant variations were observed between countries, and were distributed along a north-western to south-eastern gradient. The sociodemographic variables associated with the absence of AHA were advanced age, female sex, death of spouse, low educational level, lack of employment, and low financial status. Comparing the two models, the strength of association between absence of AHA and advanced age (85 years and older) was four times greater in the AHA-B model. Conclusions Our results showing differences between these two models provide evidence that the AHA-BPS model does not penalize older age and is more likely to characterize AHA from a health promotion perspective ​
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