Determinants of Healthy Aging: A Systematic Review of Contemporary Literature

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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
JournalAging Clinical and Experimental Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Dec 2021


  • Healthy ageing
  • Determinants
  • framework


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