OBJECTIVES: To report phenotypic characteristics of 32 age-validated supercentenarians.
DESIGN: Case series.
SETTING: U.S.-based recruitment effort.
PARTICIPANTS: Thirty-two supercentenarians.
MEASUREMENTS: Multiple forms of proof were used to validate age claims. Sociodemographic, activities of daily living, and medical history data were collected.
RESULTS: Age range was 110 to 119. Fifty-nine percent had Barthel Index scores in the partially to totally dependent range, whereas 41% required minimal assistance or were independent. Few subjects had a history of clinically evident vascular-related diseases, including myocardial infarction (n=2, 6%) and stroke (n=4, 13%). Twenty-two percent (n=7) were taking medications for hypertension. Twenty-five percent (n=8) had a history of cancer (all cured). Diabetes mellitus (n=1, 3%) and Parkinson's disease (n=1, 3%) were rare. Osteoporosis (n=14, 44%) and cataract history (n=28, 88%) were common.
CONCLUSION: Data collected thus far suggest that supercentenarians markedly delay and even escape clinical expression of vascular disease toward the end of their exceptionally long lives. A surprisingly substantial proportion of these individuals were still functionally independent or required minimal assistance.