Constructing the concept of healthy ageing and examining its association with loneliness in older adults

Ivy Yan Zhao, Mu Hsing Ho, Stefanos Tyrovolas, Sasha Yuanjie Deng, Jed Montayre, Alex Molassiotis

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: World Health Organization (WHO) has defined healthy ageing by highlighting five functional ability domains to (meet basic needs, make decisions, be mobile, build and maintain relationships, and contribute to society), which also emphasized the importance of addressing loneliness as priorities within United Nations Decade of Healthy Ageing initiative. However, the level and determinants of healthy ageing and its association with loneliness are rarely examined. This study aimed to construct a healthy ageing index to verify the WHO healthy ageing framework, measure five domains of functional ability of older adults and examine the relationship between functional ability domains and loneliness. Methods: A total of 10,746 older adults from the 2018 China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS) were included. A healthy ageing index ranging from 0 to 17 was constructed using 17 components related to functional ability domains. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were utilized to determine the association between loneliness and healthy ageing. The STROBE guidelines with the RECORD statement for observational studies using routinely collected health data were observed. Results: The factor analysis verified the five functional ability domains for healthy ageing. After adjusting for confounders, being mobile, building and maintaining relationships, and learning, growing and making decisions were significantly associated with lesser loneliness among participants. Conclusions: The healthy ageing index of this study can be utilized and further modified with respect to large-scale research with relevant healthy ageing topics. Our findings will support healthcare professionals to provide patient-centered care when identifying their comprehensive abilities and needs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number325
JournalBMC Geriatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Activities of daily living
  • Ageing
  • Gerontology
  • Health services
  • Healthy ageing
  • Loneliness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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