Low serum carotenoids and development of severe walking disability among older women living in the community: The Women's Health and Aging Study I

Richard D. Semba, Ravi Varadhan, Benedetta Bartali, Luigi Ferrucci, Michelle O. Ricks, Caroline Blaum, Linda P. Fried

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To determine whether low serum carotenoid levels, an indicator of low intake of fruits and vegetables, are associated with the progression of disability in older women. Design: Longitudinal analysis in a population-based cohort. Setting: Moderately-severely disabled women, ≥65 years, living in the community in Baltimore, Maryland (the Women's Health and Aging Study I). Participants: 554 women without severe walking disability (inability towalk or walking speed <0.4 m/s) at baseline. Main outcome measure:Incidence of severe walking disability assessed every 6 months over 3 years. Results: 155 women (27.9%) developed severe walking disability during follow-up. Rates of development of severe walking disability per 100 person-years among women in the lowest and in the three upper quartiles of total carotenoids were, respectively, 13.8 versus 10.9 (P = 0.0017). Adjusting for confounders, women in the lowest quartile of total carotenoids were more likely to develop severe walking disability (hazards ratio 1.57, 95% confidence interval 1.24-2.00, P = 0.0002) compared with women in the three upper quartiles. Conclusion: Low serum carotenoid levels, an indicator of low intake of fruits and vegetables, are independent predictors of the progression towards severe walking disability among older women living in the community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalAge and ageing
Volume36
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2007

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Carotenoids
  • Disability
  • Elderly
  • Risk factors
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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