271123 Achieving Exceptional Longevity: Education Level Associates with Healthy Behaviors Promoting Longer Life

Tuesday, October 30, 2012 : 9:35 AM - 9:50 AM

Paul Targonski, MD, PhD , Mayo Clinic Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Casey Caldwell, MD , Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Lisa Peterson, RN, MSN , Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Eric Tangalos, MD , Division of Primary Care Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Education strongly influences mortality, but direct associations are often difficult to observe. Vaccines are considered among public health's greatest triumphs and contributed to increased life expectancy in the 20th century. However, association of vaccine receipt with lifespan extension is poorly documented. Utilizing the Mayo Clinic longitudinal records linkage system, we evaluated the association of vaccine receipt with achievement of exceptional survival (ES, defined as reaching age 90 or older) in a historical birth cohort of Olmsted County, Minnesota residents born prior to 1911. 525 ES cases were matched by gender, birthyear, and a proxy of healthcare access/utilization with controls who died at or near life expectancy (LE), defined as expected age at death for the study cohort (approximately 65 years). The association of achieving ES with self-reported receipt of tetanus, influenza, and polio vaccines prior to life expectancy was explored via multivariable conditional logistic regression. While adherence with recommendations for vaccine receipt was insignificantly associated with increased odds of ES for annual influenza vaccine (OR=1.21) and tetanus vaccine (OR=1.05), the odds of achieving ES relative to death at life expectancy were significantly increased with receipt of polio vaccine (OR=1.81, 95% CI=1.06-3.08). Educational attainment was associated with both receipt of polio vaccine and achievement of ES, and the association of polio vaccine with ES was strengthened in the presence of higher educational attainment. Thus, the role of vaccine receipt in facilitating achievement of ES may represent a durable education-mediated benefit beyond simply preventing specific diseases, perhaps associated with greater adherence to other health-promoting behaviors.

Learning Areas:
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe how education level appears to mediate acceptance of health promoting behaviors associated with achievement of exceptional longevity

Keywords: Aging, Immunizations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the principal investigator or co-investigator of multiple federally and foundation funded grants examining issues of aging and vaccinology. Among my scientific interests is elucidation of factors influencing achievement of exceptional longevity
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.