Toronto, Jan 9: Older people are living longer and women make up a significant proportion of centenarians, research shows.
The number of centenarians in Ontario have increased by over 70 percent in last 15 years, with women making up more than 85 percent of people 100 or older, according to the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and Women’s College Hospital in Toronto.
“The predominance of women among those of advanced age challenges us to consider tailoring health and social care to meet their particular needs,” said Paula Rochon, scientist at Women’s College Research Institute and ICES.
The researchers took an estimated 1.8 million individuals 65 years of age and older to document changes to the size of the centenarian population over the past 15 years, said the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
In Ontario, the number of centenarians increased from 1,069 in 1995 to 1,842 in 2010 – a 72.3 percent 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.
Women represented 85.3 percent of all centenarians and 89.4 percent of those 105 years or older, the study said.
“We need a better understanding of who centenarians are, and how and when they use the healthcare system in order to improve their health service delivery,” adds Rochon.
Better understanding of the health services use of centenarians assists health care providers to inform their care decisions and for policy makers to aid in their planning for the delivery of healthcare services, the study said.