Vitality 90+

Faculty or school: Faculty of Social Sciences | Lab or field: Gerontology

The Vitality 90+ Study is a multidisciplinary project focusing on longevity and the oldest-old launched in 1995. Major research themes include time trends and predictors of health and functioning, quality of life,  formal and informal care and services, very old age as a stage of life; subjective experiences of long life and biology of longevity (genetic, epigenetic, the immune system).  

Data include mailed surveys, register data, life story interviewes, functional performance examinations and blood tests.  

With the entire population aged 90+ in the area included,with a high response rate and a follow-up of more than 20 years, the study provides a unique data set for undestanding the growth  and impact of longevity.


Mailed surveys have been conducted with home-dwelling people aged 90+ in 1995, 1996 and 1998, and with the total population aged 90+ in 2001, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2018.  

The surveys include altogether 5934 individuals and 8843 observations.Face-to-face interviews, performance tests and blood tests have been done with subsamples in several years. Narrative life study interviews were conducted in 1995 and in 2012.    

The survey data have been stored in The Finnish Social Science Data Archieve.  



The project is motivated by the rapid changes in the population structure and by the increase in real longevity. In Finland, the number of people aged 90 or older in 2017 was ten times higher than in the 1980s, and by 2060 it will reach a quarter of a million. Reliable information on development of health and quality of life and need for services are needed for political decisions and educating experts in the ageig society.  

The goal is to improve understanding of the dynamics between longer life expectancy and the development of health and quality of life of the oldest old. The societal goal is to help the society take a full advantage of longer lives and guarantee its oldest members the position and services that they need to live a good life.

Funding source

Academy of Finland, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, competetive research funding

Coordinating organisation(s)

Gerontology Research Center (GEREC)

Contact persons

Marja Jylhä

Professor/principal investigator

Marja.Jylha [at]

+358 40 588 9100


Linda Enroth

Linda.Enroth [at]