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01-12-2009 | Uitgave 10/2009

Quality of Life Research 10/2009

Age trajectories of quality of life among older adults: results from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 10/2009
Paola Zaninotto, Emanuela Falaschetti, Amanda Sacker



To explore age-trajectories of quality of life (QoL) and influences on them in a 4-year period among older adults living in England.


Data come from three waves (2002–2003 and 2006–2007) of the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, a large panel study of 11,392 individuals aged 50 and over. We used Latent Growth Curve models and ageing-vector graphs to describe both individual differences and average population age-trajectories in QoL (measured by the CASP19 questionnaire).


QoL at baseline was poorer for older than younger respondents, with the differences widening with age. QoL also declined more rapidly for older individuals. Gender, education, depression, limiting long-standing illness, difficulty with ADL-s, lack of wealth, non-employment, decreased number of friends and low positive support had a negative impact on QoL. Living with a partner had a positive effect on the QoL of men but not of women. The ageing-vector graphs revealed a clear gradient in age-trajectories of QoL for those in the best to the worst psychosocial, socioeconomic and health conditions.


Younger old adults can be prepared for further ageing by increasing their network of friends and engaging with the wider community while they are able.

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