Independent Functioning in Nonagenarians Living in a Rural Italian Community: The Mugello Study

The Mugello Study Working Group, F. Cecchi, S. Pancani, R. Molino-Lova, C. Castagnoli, A. Paperini, R. Boni, G. Gori, C. Macchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nonagenarians are a fast-growing population deserving specific research. We explored the prevalence and characteristics of functionally independent nonagenarians from a rural community-dwelling Italian population. Data were collected in the Mugello Study; 475 persons aged ≥90 years (median age, 92) underwent a home-based clinical and functional assessment, including psychosocial, clinical, functional, and lifestyle history and status and physical and instrumental examinations. Sixty-eight (15%) persons reported no need for help in basic and instrumental daily living activities. Among variables significantly associated with independent functionality after age- and gender-adjusted cross-sectional analysis, lower body mass index (BMI; p =.034) and depressive symptoms (p =.028), higher current physical activity (p <.001), better cognitive status (p =.033), and lower medication intake (p =.048) were associated with reporting no disability in the logistic regression analysis. Disability was mainly associated with current lifestyle-related potentially modifiable factors. Thus, lifestyle-oriented multidimensional interventions, should be developed and evaluated for their potential effects on functionality, even in the oldest old.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019


  • disability
  • independence
  • nonagenarians
  • oldest old
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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