In Denmark, more people are living to older ages with better overall functioning.

People in their 90s are in better shape today than people of a similar age were a decade ago, a study out of Denmark suggests.

Researchers at the Danish Aging Research Center at the University of Southern Denmark in Odense compared the mental and physical abilities at age 93 of Danes born in 1905 with those of a second group born in 1915 — at age 95.Despite being two years older at assessment, the 1915 group scored better on both cognitive tests and the ability to carry out basic activities such as getting out of a chair.

There were 2,262 in the 1905 group and 1,584 in the 1915 group.

“This finding suggests that more people are living to older ages with better overall functioning,” editors of the medical journal The Lancet said. “If this development continues, the future functional problems and care needs of very elderly people might be less than are anticipated.”

The researchers suspect that better diets earlier in life, education and physical activity accounted for the better performance. Eighty per cent of the current living older people are living independently in their own communities.

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