Biological Age and Capacity for Self-Management: Implications for Nursing

Project: Research project

Grant Details


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The purpose of this investigation is to examine the association between biological age and executive function/working memory among individuals with hypertension. Prior investigations suggest executive function and working memory capacity are important cognitive processes essential for self-management. In addition to the importance of these processes to understanding self-management, it has been shown that executive function and working memory decline with age. This would seem to implicate age as a risk factor for failure to self-manage, for example, medications. This, however, has not been demonstrated. Several investigations suggest that chronological age is a poor predictor of self-management capacity and indeed that older adults may be better on some everyday tasks than young counterparts. While chronological age is not implicated in self-management, it is possible that biological age is a predictor of executive function/ working memory capacity in clinical populations accounting for differences in self-management. This descriptive correlational study uses telomere length as a marker for biological age and examines the association of telomere length to executive function/working memory capacity among individuals > 50 years of age self-managing one prescribed medication for hypertension. The study also identifies oxidative stress as a likely mechanism for accelerated biological aging in persons with hypertension. Oxidative stress will be quantified and associated with disease severity, biological age and executive function/working memory capacity. The study also seeks to provide converging evidence for the association between executive function/working memory capacity and medication adherence, an established self-management activity.
Effective start/end date7/7/0612/30/08


  • National Institutes of Health: $74,640.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $72,451.00


  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)


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