Characteristics of nondisabled older persons who perform poorly in objective tests of lower extremity function

Luigi Ferrucci, Brenda W J H Penninx, Suzanne G. Leveille, Maria Chiara Corti, Marco Pahor, Robert Wallace, Tamara B. Harris, Richard J. Havlik, Jack M. Guralnik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: It has been suggested that nondisabled older persons with poor performance of lower extremity function are ideal targets for interventions of disability prevention. However, health-related factors associated with poor performance are largely unknown. Using data from a representative sample of nondisabled older persons, this study identifies the diseases and biological markers that characterize this group of the population. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 3381 persons aged 71 or older, interviewed and administered a battery of physical performance tests at the sixth annual follow-up of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE), who reported no need for help in walking 1/4 mile or climbing stairs. MEASUREMENTS: Lower extremity performance was measured using a short battery of tests including assessment of standing balance, a timed 2.4-m walk, and timed test of rising 5 times from a chair. Chronic conditions were ascertained as self-report of a physician diagnosis. Data on previous hospitalizations were obtained from the Medicare data-base. Nonfasting blood samples were obtained and processed with standard methods. RESULTS: In a multivariate analysis, older age, female gender, higher BMI, history of hip fracture and diabetes, one or more hospital admissions for acute infection in the last 3 years, lower levels of hemoglobin and albumin, and higher leukocytes and γ-glutamyl transferase were all associated independently with poor performance. CONCLUSIONS: Screening for older patients who are not disabled but have poor lower extremity performance selects a subgroup of the population with a high percentage of women, high prevalence of diabetes and hip fracture, and high levels of biological markers of inflammation. This group represents about 10% of the US population 70 to 90 years old. These findings should be considered in planning specifically tailored interventions for disability prevention in this subgroup.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1102-1110
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume48
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Lower Extremity
Hip Fractures
Biomarkers
Population
Transferases
Medicare
Population Groups
Self Report
Walking
Epidemiologic Studies
Albumins
Hemoglobins
Hospitalization
Leukocytes
Multivariate Analysis
Databases
Inflammation
Physicians
Health
Infection

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Disability
  • Lower extremity
  • Physical performance
  • Prevention of disability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Ferrucci, L., Penninx, B. W. J. H., Leveille, S. G., Corti, M. C., Pahor, M., Wallace, R., ... Guralnik, J. M. (2000). Characteristics of nondisabled older persons who perform poorly in objective tests of lower extremity function. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 48(9), 1102-1110.

Characteristics of nondisabled older persons who perform poorly in objective tests of lower extremity function. / Ferrucci, Luigi; Penninx, Brenda W J H; Leveille, Suzanne G.; Corti, Maria Chiara; Pahor, Marco; Wallace, Robert; Harris, Tamara B.; Havlik, Richard J.; Guralnik, Jack M.

In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, Vol. 48, No. 9, 2000, p. 1102-1110.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ferrucci, L, Penninx, BWJH, Leveille, SG, Corti, MC, Pahor, M, Wallace, R, Harris, TB, Havlik, RJ & Guralnik, JM 2000, 'Characteristics of nondisabled older persons who perform poorly in objective tests of lower extremity function', Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, vol. 48, no. 9, pp. 1102-1110.
Ferrucci, Luigi ; Penninx, Brenda W J H ; Leveille, Suzanne G. ; Corti, Maria Chiara ; Pahor, Marco ; Wallace, Robert ; Harris, Tamara B. ; Havlik, Richard J. ; Guralnik, Jack M. / Characteristics of nondisabled older persons who perform poorly in objective tests of lower extremity function. In: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 2000 ; Vol. 48, No. 9. pp. 1102-1110.
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abstract = "OBJECTIVES: It has been suggested that nondisabled older persons with poor performance of lower extremity function are ideal targets for interventions of disability prevention. However, health-related factors associated with poor performance are largely unknown. Using data from a representative sample of nondisabled older persons, this study identifies the diseases and biological markers that characterize this group of the population. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 3381 persons aged 71 or older, interviewed and administered a battery of physical performance tests at the sixth annual follow-up of the Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (EPESE), who reported no need for help in walking 1/4 mile or climbing stairs. MEASUREMENTS: Lower extremity performance was measured using a short battery of tests including assessment of standing balance, a timed 2.4-m walk, and timed test of rising 5 times from a chair. Chronic conditions were ascertained as self-report of a physician diagnosis. Data on previous hospitalizations were obtained from the Medicare data-base. Nonfasting blood samples were obtained and processed with standard methods. RESULTS: In a multivariate analysis, older age, female gender, higher BMI, history of hip fracture and diabetes, one or more hospital admissions for acute infection in the last 3 years, lower levels of hemoglobin and albumin, and higher leukocytes and γ-glutamyl transferase were all associated independently with poor performance. CONCLUSIONS: Screening for older patients who are not disabled but have poor lower extremity performance selects a subgroup of the population with a high percentage of women, high prevalence of diabetes and hip fracture, and high levels of biological markers of inflammation. This group represents about 10{\%} of the US population 70 to 90 years old. These findings should be considered in planning specifically tailored interventions for disability prevention in this subgroup.",
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AU - Guralnik, Jack M.

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