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Vitality 90+

The Vitality 90+ Study is a multidisciplinary project focusing on longevity and the oldest-old. The sub-projects address the biological basis of aging, predictors of health, functioning and longevity, old age as an individual experience, and the need for and use of care and services. The research 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 has doubled in the past 20 years from 22 000 to 55 000, and by 2060, it will reach one fifth of a million. The Vitality 90+ Study was initiated in 1995 by professor Antti Hervonen and Marja Jylhä.

Major research themes include

  • Health and functioning in the oldest-old and their time trends
  • Formal and informal care, services
  • Very old age as a stage of life; subjective experiences of long life
  • Biology of longevity, especially aging of the immune system

Data include

  • Mailed surveys with whole cohorts of people aged 90+ in Tampere
  • Face-to-face interviews and performance tests
  • Blood samples


Marja Jylhä, Principal investigator


phone: 040 588 9100

Linda Enroth, Co-principal investigator


phone: 040 190 1647

Principal Investigators

Marja Jylhä, Principal Investigator

Linda Enroth, Co-principal investigator

Mikko Hurme, Principal Investigator for the biological part of the study, Professor (emeritus)

Antti Hervonen, Professor (emeritus), co-founder of the study


Arttu Autio, MSc, doctoral researcher

Jani Raitanen, MSc, statistician

Juulia Jylhävä, PhD, assistant professor

Kirsi Lumme-Sandt, PhD, docent

Kristina Tiainen, PhD, docent

Laura Kananen, PhD, post-doctoral researcher

Lily Nosraty, PhD, post-doctoral researcher

Mari Aaltonen, PhD, docent

Pauliina Halonen, MSc, doctoral researcher

Saara Marttila, PhD, post-doctoral researcher

Tapio Nevalainen, MSc, doctoral researcher

Lily Nosraty. Successful aging among the oldest old. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 2370. Tampere University Press 2018.

Enroth Linda. Social inequality in the health of the oldest old : Socioeconomic differences in health, functioning, mortality and long-term care use in the population aged 90+. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 2335. Tampere University Press 2017.

Lisko Inna. Obesity in the Oldest Old : Associations of body mass index and waist circumference with physical functioning and mortality. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 2267. Tampere University Press 2017.

Uotila Hanna. Vanhuus ja yksinäisyys. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1651. Tampere University Press 2011.

Goebeler Sirkka. Health and Illness at the Age of 90. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1484. Tampere University Press 2009.

Jolanki Outi. Fate or Choice? Talking about age and health. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 1434. Tampere University Press 2009.

Lumme-Sandt Kirsi. Ikäihmiset ja lääkkeiden käytön moninaiset maailmat. Acta Universitatis Tamperensis 900. Tampere University Press 2002


Enroth L, Fors S 2021. Trends in the social class inequalities in disability and self-rated health: Repeated cross-sectional surveys from Finland and Sweden 2001-2018. International Journal of Public Health.

Enroth L, Pulkki J (2021). Aistivaikeudet, arki ja toimintakyky 90 vuotta täyttäneillä. Gerontologia 35(2), 121-137. (Sensory difficulties, everyday life and functional ability among people aged 90+)

Hyvärinen, Matti, Hatavara Mari, and Rautajoki Hanna (2021). Positioning with Master and Counter-Narratives. Narrative Inquiry 31.

Nevalainen T, Autio A, Puhka M, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2021) Composition of the whole transcriptome in the human plasma: Cellular source and modification by aging. Exp Gerontol 143:111119. doi:

Rautajoki Hanna and Hyvärinen Hanna. Aspects of voice in the use of positioning in polyphonic storytelling. Special Issue in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Voice Studies: “Ventriloquism as a Practice and Metaphor” (ed. by Mari Wiklund & Josephine Hoegaerts) (forthcoming 2021).


Autio A, Nevalainen T, Mishra BH, Jylhä M, Flinck H, Hurme M (2020) Effect of aging on the transcriptomic changes associated with the expression of the HERV-K (HML-2) provirus at 1q22. Immun Ageing 17:11-020-00182-0. eCollection 2020. doi: 10.1186/s12979-020-00182-0 [doi].

Enroth L, Raitanen J, Halonen P, Tiainen K, Jylhä M (2020). Trends of Physical Functioning, Morbidity, and DisabilityFree Life Expectancy Among the Oldest Old: Six Repeated Cross-Sectional Surveys Between 2001 and 2018 in the Vitality 90+ Study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. doi:10.1093/gerona/glaa144

Raitanen J, Stenholm S, Tiainen K, Jylhä M, Nevalainen J. (2020): Longitudinal change in physical functioning and dropout due to death among the oldest old: a comparison of three methods of analysis. European Journal of Ageing, (17), 207-216.


Enroth L, Veenstra M, Aartsen M, Kjær AA, Juul Nilsson C, Fors S (2019). Are there educational disparities in health among the oldest old? Evidence from the Nordic countries. European Journal of Ageing, (16), 415-424.

Halonen P, Raitanen J, Enroth L, Jämsen E & Jylhä M (2019). Chronic conditions and multimorbidity in population aged 90 years and over: associations with mortality and long-term care admission. Age and Ageing, 48(4), 564-570.

Hoogendijk, E. O; van der Noordt, M; Onwuteaka-Philipsen, Bregje D; Deeg, Dorly J.H; Huisman, M; Enroth, L; Jylhä; M. (2019). Sex differences in healthy life expectancy among nonagenarians: A multistate survival model using data from Vitality 90+ study. Experimental Gerontology 116 (2019) 80-85. DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2018.12.015

Hyvärinen Matti, Hatavara Mari, and Rautajoki Hanna (2019). Kerronta, Asemointi Ja Haastattelun Analyysi [Narration, Positioning and the Analysis of Interviews]. Sosiologia 56, no. 1: 6―25.

Jylhä M, Enroth L, Halonen P (2019). Vanhoista vanhimpien terveys ja toimintakyky. Duodecim, 135 (11), 1085-1091.

Nevalainen T, Autio A, Kummola L, Salomaa T, Junttila I, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2019) CD27- IgD- B cell memory subset associates with inflammation and frailty in elderly individuals but only in males. Immun Ageing 16:19-019-0159-6. eCollection 2019. doi: 10.1186/s12979-019-0159-6 [doi].

Ozsait-Selcuk B, Komurcu-Bayrak E, Jylhä M, Luukkaala T, Perola M, Kristiansson K, Mononen N, Hurme M, Kähönen M, Goebeler S et al (2019) The rs2516839 variation of USF1 gene is associated with 4-year mortality of nonagenarian women: The Vitality 90+ study. Ann Hum Genet 83:34-45. doi: 10.1111/ahg.12282 [doi].

Tuominen, Katariina & Pirhonen, Jari (2019). Who would take a 90-year-old? Community-dwelling nonagenarians’ perceptions of social relationships. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, Advance access. DOI:


Nevalainen T, Autio A, Mishra BH, Marttila S, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2018) Aging-associated patterns in the expression of human endogenous retroviruses. PLoS One 13:e0207407. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0207407 [doi].


Enroth L, Aaltonen M, Raitanen J, Nosraty L & Jylhä M 2017. Does use of long-term care differ between occupational classes among the oldest old? Vitality 90+ Study. European Journal of Ageing. DOI: 10.1007/s10433-017-0445-0

Halonen Pauliina, Enroth Linda, Jylhä Marja, Tiainen Kristina. (2017). Pitkäaikaissairaudet ja monisairastavuus hyvin vanhoilla sekä niiden yhteys toimintakykyyn ja itse arvioituun terveyteen-Tervaskannot 90+ -tutkimus. Gerontologia 31 (4), 269-281.

Kauppi M, Raitanen J, Stenholm S, Aaltonen M, Enroth L & Jylhä M 2017. Predictors of long-term care among nonagenarians: the Vitality 90 + Study with linked data of the care registers. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research. DOI: 10.1007/s40520-017-0869-6

Lisko Inna, Tiainen Kristina, Raitanen Jani, Jylhävä Juulia, Hurme Mikko, Hervonen Antti, Stenholm Sari. (2017). Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference as Predictors of Disability in Nonagenarians: The Vitality 90+ Study. Journals of Gerontology A 72 (11), 1569–1574.

Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Jylhävä J, Kananen L, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M (2017) Human endogenous retrovirus HERV-K(HML-2) env expression is not associated with markers of immunosenescence. Exp Gerontol 97:60-63. doi: S0531-5565(17)30352-2 [pii].

Nevalainen T, Kananen L, Marttila S, Jylhava J, Mononen N, Kahonen M, Raitakari OT, Hervonen A, Jylha M, Lehtimaki T et al (2017) Obesity accelerates epigenetic aging in middle-aged but not in elderly individuals. Clin Epigenetics 9:20-016-0301-7. eCollection 2017. doi: 10.1186/s13148-016-0301-7 [doi].

Nosraty L, Pulkki J, Raitanen J, Enroth L & Jylhä M (2017). Successful Aging as a Predictor of Long-Term Care Among Oldest Old: The Vitality 90+ Study. Journal of Applied Gerontology. DOI: 10.1177/0733464817716968


Enroth L, Raitanen J, Hervonen A, Lehtimäki T, Jylhävä J, Hurme M, Jylhä M (2016) Cardiometabolic and Inflammatory Biomarkers as Mediators Between Educational Attainment and Functioning at the Age of 90 Years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 71:412-419. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv105 [doi].

Jylhävä J, Kananen L, Raitanen J, Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2016) Methylomic predictors demonstrate the role of NF-κB in old-age mortality and are unrelated to the aging-associated epigenetic drift. Oncotarget 7:19228-19241. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.8278 [doi].

Kananen L, Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Kummola L, Junttila I, Mononen N, Kähönen M, Raitakari OT, Hervonen A, Jylhä M et al (2016) The trajectory of the blood DNA methylome ageing rate is largely set before adulthood: evidence from two longitudinal studies. Age (Dordr) 38:65-016-9927-9. Epub 2016 Jun 14. doi: 10.1007/s11357-016-9927-9 [doi].

Nevalainen T, Kananen L, Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M (2016) Increased Paternal Age at Conception Is Associated with Transcriptomic Changes Involved in Mitochondrial Function in Elderly Individuals. PLoS One 11:e0167028. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0167028 [doi].


Enroth L, Raitanen J, Hervonen A, Nosraty L, Jylhä M. (2015). Is Socioeconomic Status a Predictor of Mortality in Nonagenarians? The Vitality 90+ Study. Age and Ageing 44: 123-129, 2015.

Kananen L, Nevalainen T, Jylhävä J, Marttila S, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2015) Cytomegalovirus infection accelerates epigenetic aging. Exp Gerontol 72:227-229. doi: S0531-5565(15)30071-1 [pii].

Lisko I, Stenholm S, Raitanen J, Hurme M, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Tiainen K. (2015). Association of Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference With Physical Functioning: The Vitality 90+ Study. The Journals of Gerontology. Series A, Biological Scineces and Medical Sciences, 70 (7), 885-91.

Marttila S, Kananen L, Häyrynen S, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Nykter M, Hurme M (2015) Ageing-associated changes in the human DNA methylome: genomic locations and effects on gene expression. BMC Genomics 16:179-015-1381-z. doi: 10.1186/s12864-015-1381-z [doi].

Marttila S, Kananen L, Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2015) Length of paternal lifespan is manifested in the DNA methylome of their nonagenarian progeny. Oncotarget 6:30557-30567. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.5905 [doi].

Marttila S, Nevalainen T, Kananen L, Jylhävä J, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Ilonen J, Hurme M (2015) Number of sons contributes to ageing-associated inflammation. Sci Rep 5:8631. doi: 10.1038/srep08631 [doi].

Nevalainen T, Kananen L, Marttila S, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M, Jylhävä J (2015) Transcriptomic and epigenetic analyses reveal a gender difference in aging-associated inflammation: the Vitality 90+ study. Age (Dordr) 37:9814-015-9814-9. Epub 2015 Jul 19. doi: 10.1007/s11357-015-9814-9 [doi].

Nosraty L, Enroth L, Raitanen J, Hervonen A, Jylhä M.(2015). Do Succesful Agers Live Longer? The Vitality 90+ Study. Journal of Ageing and Health 27 (1), 35-53, 2015.

Nosraty Lily, Raittila Taina, Jylhä Marja, Lumme-Sandt Kirsi. (2015) Perceptions by the oldest-old of successful aging. Journal of Aging studies 32, 50–58.

Tiainen Kristina, Raitanen Jani, Vaara Elina, Hervonen Antti, Jylhä Marja. (2015). Longitudinal changes in mobility among nonagenarians: the Vitality 90+ Study. BMC Geriatrics 15 (124), -:124.


Jylhävä J, Raitanen J, Marttila S, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2014) Identification of a prognostic signature for old-age mortality by integrating genome-wide transcriptomic data with the conventional predictors: the Vitality 90+ Study. BMC Med Genomics 7:54-8794-7-54. doi: 10.1186/1755-8794-7-54 [doi].

Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Kananen L, Hervonen A, Jylhä M, Hurme M (2014) Molecular mechanisms associated with the strength of the anti-CMV response in nonagenarians. Immun Ageing 11:2-4933-11-2. doi: 10.1186/1742-4933-11-2 [doi].


Enroth L, Raitanen J, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2013). Do socioeconomic health differences persist in nonagenarians. J Gerontol Psych Sci Soc Sci. 68(5):837-847, 2013. doi: 10.1093/geronh/gbt067

Galenkamp H, Deeg DJH, Huisman M, Hervonen A, Braam AW, Jylhä M. (2013). Is self-rated health still sensitive for changes in disease and functioning among nonagenarians? J Gerontol Psych Sci Soc Sci   68(5):848-858. 2013. doi: 10.1093/geronh/gbt067

Jylha M. Enroth L and Luukkaala T. (2013).  Trends of functioning and health in nonagenarians- the Vitality 90+ Study. In Robine JM, Jagger C, Crimmins E. Annual Review of Gerontology and Geriatrics, vol 33, 2013 ”Healthy Longevity”. Springer Publishing Company, pp- 313-332

Jylhävä J, Nevalainen T, Marttila S, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M (2013) Characterization of the role of distinct plasma cell-free DNA species in age-associated inflammation and frailty. Aging Cell 12:388-397. doi: 10.1111/acel.12058 [doi].

Kämppä N, Mäkelä KM, Lyytikäinen LP, Peltonen N, Hautamäki J, Seppälä I, Mononen N, Goebeler S, Karhunen PJ, Hervonen A et al (2013). Vascular cell adhesion molecule 1, soluble Fas and hepatocyte growth factor as predictors of mortality in nonagenarians: the Vitality 90+ study. Exp Gerontol 48:1167-1172. doi: S0531-5565(13)00230-1 [pii].

Lisko I, Tiainen K, Stenholm S, Luukkaala T, Hurme M, Lehtimäki T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2013). Are body mass index, waist circumference and waist-to-hip ratio associated with leptin in 90-year-old people? European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 67 (4), 420-2.

Tiainen K, Luukkaala T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2013). Predictors of mortality in men and women aged 90 years and older: nine-year follow-up. Age & Ageing 42:468-475, 2013.  doi:10.1093/ageing/aft030t PubMed


Helminen S, Sarkeala T, Enroth L, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2012). Vanhoista vanhiimpien terveys ja elämätilanne. Tuloksia vuoden 201 Tervskannot 90+- tutkimuksesta. Gerontologia 26(3):162-171, 2012

Jylhävä J, Jylhä M, Lehtimäki T, Hervonen A, Hurme M. (2012). Circulating cell-free DNA is associated with mortality and inflammatory markers in nonagenarians. Exp Gerontol 47(5);372-8,Epub 2012 Mar 3, PMID:22406558

Lisko I, Tiainen K, Stenholm S, Luukkaala T, Hurme M, Lehtimäki T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2012). Inflammation, adiposity and mortality in the oldest old. Rejuvenation Research 15(5):445-452, 2012. DOI:10.1089/rej.2011.1310. Epub 2012 Sep 21

Nosraty L, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2012) Is there successful aging for nonagenarians? Vitality 90+ study. Journal of Aging Research, 2012;2012:868797. doi:10.1155/2012/868797. Epub 2012 Oct 16. PubMed PMID: 23125931

Vuorisalmi M, Sarkeala T, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2012) Among nonagenarians, congruence between self-rated health and proxy-rated health was low but both predicted mortality. J Clin Epidemiol 65:553-559, 2012, doi: 10 1016/jclinepi.2011.11001

2011 and older

Jylhävä J, Kotipelto T, Raitala A, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M. (2011). Aging is associated with quantitative and qualitative changes in circulating cell-free DNA: the Vitality 90+ study. Mech Ageing Dev 132:20-26. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2010.11.001 [doi].

Marttila S, Jylhävä J, Pesu M, Hämäläinen S, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M. (2011). IL-7 concentration is increased in nonagenarians but is not associated with markers of T cell immunosenescence. Exp Gerontol 46:1000-1002. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2011.09.004 [doi].

Sarkeala T, Nummi T, Vuorisalmi M, Hervonen A, Jylhä M. (2011).  Disability trends among nonagenarians in 2001-2007: Vitality 90 study. Eur J Ageing 8 (2): 87-94, 2011 DOI 10.1007/s10433-011-0188-2.

Jylhävä J, Eklund C, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Hurme M (2010) Expression profiling of immune-associated genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells reveals baseline differences in co-stimulatory signalling between nonagenarians and younger controls: the vitality 90+ study. Biogerontology 11:671-677. doi: 10.1007/s10522-010-9274-7 [doi].

Jylhävä J, Eklund C, Jylhä M, Hervonen A, Lehtimäki T, Karhunen P, Hurme M (2009) Complement factor H 402His variant confers an increased mortality risk in Finnish nonagenarians: the Vitality 90+ study. Exp Gerontol 44:297-299. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2008.10.006 [doi].

Jylhä M, Paavilainen P, Lehtimäki T, Goebeler S, Karhunen PJ, Hervonen A, Hurme M (2007) Interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, and C-reactive protein as predictors of mortality in nonagenarians: the vitality 90+ study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 62:1016-1021. doi: 62/9/1016 [pii].

Niemi AK, Hervonen A, Hurme M, Karhunen PJ, Jylhä M, Majamaa K (2003) Mitochondrial DNA polymorphisms associated with longevity in a Finnish population. Hum Genet 112:29-33. doi: 10.1007/s00439-002-0843-y [doi].

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