Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: People surviving past the age of 90 today are living with better cognitive performance than ever before, says a new Danish study.
The research was conducted on two groups of Danish nonagenarians born 10 years apart and compared their cognitive and physical functioning.
Researchers found that the group of 95-year-old Danes scored better than the group of Danes born 10 years earlier, who had been tested when they were about the same age.
In a standard simple test, for example, 23 percent of them scored in the highest category, compared to 13 percent of the earlier-born group. Out of the 30 questions and tasks, members of the later-born group averaged two more correct responses than the earlier-born group did.
Why the better mental performance? It wasn`t just better education, but beyond that the researchers could only guess at things like more intellectual stimulation and better diets earlier in life.
The mental testing compared 1,814 elderly Danes examined in 1998 to the later-born group of 1,247 Danes tested in 2010. The researchers also found that later-born Danes were better able to carry out basic living tasks like getting out of bed or a chair. So they were functioning better overall, the study concluded.
Lead author Dr. Kaare Christensen, head of the Danish Aging Research Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, said he imagines that in the future, Danes who live into their 90s will continue to be better off than their predecessors.
The study was published Wednesday in the journal Lancet.
(With Agency inputs)