Study shows women continue to outlive men as numbers of centenarians on the rise

The number of centenarians in Ontario increased by more than 70 per cent over the last 15 years with women making up more than 85 per cent of people 100 or older, according to new research by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women's College Hospital.

The findings, published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, are among the first to examine centenarians in a large geographic population and the they receive.

"Our study highlights that older people are living longer, and women make up a significant proportion of centenarians. The predominance of women among those of advanced age challenges us to consider tailoring and social care to meet their particular needs," said Dr. Paula Rochon, lead author of the study and scientist at Women's College Research Institute and ICES.

The population-based study of centenarians used an estimated 1.8 million individuals 65 years of age and older. This study that documents changes to the size of the centenarian population over the past 15 years found:

  • In Ontario, the number of centenarians increased from 1069 in 1995 to 1842 in 2010, a 72.3 per cent increase during this period.
  • During the same time period, the 85-99 year age group increased from 119,955 to 227,703, an 89.8 per cent increase.
  • Of the 1842 centenarians, 6.7 per cent were 105 years or older.
  • Women represented 85.3 per cent of all centenarians and 89.4 per cent of those 105 years or older.
  • Almost half lived in the community (20.0 per cent independently, 25.3 per cent with publicly funded home care).
  • Preventive drug therapies (bisphosphonates and statins) were frequently dispensed.
  • In the preceding year, 18.2 per cent were hospitalized and 26.6 per cent were seen in an emergency department.
  • More than 95 per cent saw a primary care provider and 5.3 per cent saw a geriatrician.

"We need a better understanding of who centenarians are, and how and when they use the health care system in order to improve their health service delivery," adds Rochon.

Understanding the sociodemographic profile and health service use of centenarians is important to inform strategies to improve the delivery of for many individuals who will approach or achieve this milestone in the future, the authors note. Better understanding of the health services use of assists health care providers to inform their care decisions and for policy makers to aid in their planning for the delivery of healthcare services, they add.

More information: The study "Demographics and health care use of centenarians: a population-based cohort study," was published today in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Depression and mental health services usage

Sep 30, 2013

More than half the people in Ontario who reported they had major depression did not use physician-based mental health services in the following year, a new study has found.

Nearly half of Ontario seniors do not see dentists regularly

Oct 27, 2011

Forty-five per cent of Ontarians 65 years and older did not see a dentist in the last year, increasing their risk of chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life , a new study by researchers at St. Michael's Hospital, Women's ...

Oldest old at risk from social isolation

Jul 25, 2013

Using new data from the UK's largest ever social survey, Understanding Society, the Personal Finance Research Centre (PRFC) at the University of Bristol and the International Longevity Centre-UK (ILC-UK) have produced preliminary ...

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

Dec 19, 2014

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

Dec 19, 2014

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.