Physiological Dysregulation and Changes in Health in an Older Population

Noreen Goldman, Princeton University
Cassio M. Turra, Princeton University
Dana A. Glei, University of California, Berkeley
Yi-Li Chuang, Bureau of Health Promotion, Taiwan
Maxine Weinstein, Georgetown University

Recent analyses have suggested that physiological dysregulation measured across multiple systems is predictive of diminished physical and mental functioning in non-clinical populations. Here, we extend this prior work by using data from a national survey in Taiwan to explore the association between an improved measure of physiological dysregulation and a broad range of health outcomes - survival, physical functioning, cognitive functioning, and depressive symptoms - ascertained three years after the assessment of the biological indicators. The specific biological parameters comprise both standard clinical markers and nontraditional measures; we examine the linkages between both sets of markers and health. By using data from a national survey of middle-aged and older individuals, which collects extensive health information at baseline and at the end of a three-year period along with biological measures at baseline, our estimates are less likely than those from previous studies to be plagued by biases related to sample selection and endogeneity.

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Presented in Session 53: Biology and Demography