Bio 482 Lea

Research Description

Aging may involve quality of life and health concerns such as new diagnoses, and changes in physical health, mental health, and functioning. Our goal is to isolate sets of health factors that predict important measures such as happiness, energy level, and self-rated health. We will use shaded Venn-diagrams to make our results easily interpretable to non-science audiences. This approach is helpful because the elderly may use our results to understand their health and make positive and informed health-related decisions.For example, existing literature concerning mental health of the elderly indicates that depression is often a lifelong disorder. In our first set of analyses, we found the mean values of health measurements (“developing pain”, “developing sickness”, and “having low energy”) for several groups based on their depression history. The most interesting interpretation of this analysis was that for those with current depression health variables are decreased relative to the other depression groups. Further, those with prior but not current depression were about as healthy as elderly individuals that had never had any depression.