Determinants of Healthy Aging: A Systematic Review of Contemporary Literature

Thais Abud , Georgios Kounidas, Kathryn Martin, Martin Werth, Kay Kay Cooper, Phyo Kyaw Myint* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Healthy ageing frameworks have been highly explored. Our objective was to assess existing frameworks for healthy ageing and to identify commonly described factors that can potentially act as determinants of healthy ageing.
Methods: We carried out a systematic review by searching five electronic databases EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane, PsychINFO, and CINAHL from January 2010 to 20 November 2020 to capture contemporary evidence. Eligible studies needed to report a clear framework of healthy ageing in humans, within one or more of three domains (physical, mental/cognitive, social), in English. No restriction was placed on geographical location. Retrospective studies, studies that did not report a framework of healthy ageing, and studies with a focus on diagnostic measures were excluded.
Results: Of 3329 identified records, nine studies met eligibility criteria and were
included. Most of the studies were qualitative or cross-sectional, and the majority were carried out in Asia, followed by North America, Australia, and Africa. Most studies are Using Critical Appraisal Skills Programme checklist for qualitative studies and the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for cross-sectional studies, we found majority of studies were of high quality. The ten determinants identified for healthy ageing include physical activity; diet; self-awareness; outlook/attitude; lifelong-learning; faith; social support; financial security; community engagement, and independence.

Conclusions: We identified ten determinants of healthy ageing proposed by the
contemporary evidence base. There appears to be increasing acknowledgement the instrumental role social and mental/cognitive well-being as determinants of healthy ageing. The extent to which each determinant contributes to healthy ageing requires further evaluation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Number of pages9
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Early online date8 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Resources: TA and GK are recipients of The Autumn Project Research
Scholarships (Ageing Clinical & Experimental Research) funded by the Development
Trust, University of Aberdeen. We acknowledge the donor of these scholarships, the
Autumn Project Limited.

Data Availability Statement

All data generated or analysed during this study are included in this article and its supplementary material files. Further enquiries can be directed to the corresponding author.


  • Healthy ageing
  • Determinants
  • framework


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