This study will explore health and well-being in American men and women age 57 to 84. We propose a longitudinal, nationally representative in-home survey of 3,000 non-institutionalized people to describe, for the first time, distributions of physical and psychocognitive health, illness, medication use, intimacy and sexuality among older adults and to evaluate the relationships among these components of health in different sociocultural contexts. Specifically, we aim to: 1. Describe health and health transitions of older community-residing Americans A. Describe distributions of physical and psychocognitive health, social capital, social networks, illness, medication use, and sexuality among older adults. B. Evaluate the relationships among these components of health in different sociocultural contexts. C. Evaluate the relationship between quality of life and health behaviors among older adults, including: sexuality, physical activity, nutrition, sleep, alcohol, tobacco, and other substance abuse. 2. Evaluate the relationship between older adult sexuality and the following dimensions of illness: A. Physical illness and disability: arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, urinary incontinence and sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS; B. Mental illness: depression, dementia, stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, poor body image; C. Medications: prescription, self-medication, and alternative remedies. 3. Evaluate older adult sexuality within social networks and the encompassing sociocultural context A. Evaluate the relationship of older adult sexuality to important life stages (retirement, divorce, widowhood, and formation of new partnerships including remarriage). B. Evaluate the relationship between older adult sexuality and social embeddedness including: sociability, independence, loneliness, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse. C. Ascertain older adults' perceptions about the relationship of sexuality to health and their needs for physician-patient communication and health care services in this domain.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Social Sciences, Nursing, Epidemiology and Methods 4 (SNEM)
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Patmios, Georgeanne E
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National Opinion Research Center
United States
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