Capturing Subjective Age, Subjective Life Expectancy, and Their Links With Older Adults’ Health: The Dutch Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam

Dorly J. H. Deeg, Erik J. Timmermans, Almar A. L. Kok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study compares the associations of two subjective lifetime perspectives, subjective age (SA) and subjective life expectancy (SLE), with physical performance, self-rated health, and depressive symptoms. Methods: 64 91-year-old participants were selected from three waves of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (2008/09, 2011/12, 2015/16; n = 1822 participants, n = 3500 observations) that included graphical and numerical measures of SA and SLE. We used generalized estimating equations to examine their associations with health. Results: Associations of SA/SLE with health were weaker for physical performance than for self-rated health and depressive symptoms. The associations of SA and SLE with physical performance were of similar magnitude but with self-rated health depended on the type of measure. Depressive symptoms, instead, showed a stronger association with SA than with SLE. Graphical measures showed weaker associations than numerical measures. Discussion: The way in which subjective lifetime perspectives and health are conceptualized and measured influences the strength of their associations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-644
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of aging and health
Issue number7-8
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • graphical measure
  • mental health
  • numerical measure
  • physical health
  • subjective lifetime perspectives

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