Predictors of Mobility Decline: the Hong Kong Old-old Study

S. C. Ho, J. Woo, Y.K. Yuen, A. Sham, S. G. Chan
1997 The journals of gerontology. Series A, Biological sciences and medical sciences  
Background. Old age is often accompanied by functional decline and loss of autonomy. This longitudinal study examines the factors associated with mobility decline among a Chinese elderly cohort aged 70 years and above. Methods. Analyses were carried out on data collected from 1,483 elderly subjects who were functionally mobile at baseline and survived the 18-month follow-up period. The outcome variable "mobility decline" was measured using the Barthel Activities of Daily Living Scale, which
more » ... ng Scale, which accesses subjects' ability to be independent in walking a distance of 50 meters and/or moving up and downstairs during the 18-month follow-up interview. Results. Multivariate backward stepwise logistic regression analysis revealed that the following baseline characteristics were independently associated with mobility decline during the follow-up period: increasing age (OR 1.4, 95% CI 1.2-1.6 for every 5-year increase in age), no formal level of education (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.0-3.9), no current practice of exercise (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.4-3.1), symptoms of palpitation (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.8), body mass index [weight (kg) / height (m) 2 ] below 20 (OR 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.6), and slow gait velocity (OR 1.12, 95% CI 1.09-1.16 per second increase in gait time). There was also significant association between the experience of falls during follow-up and mobility decline (OR = 2.9, 95% CI = 1.9^1.5). Conclusion. Low body weight, lack of exercise, and falls during the follow-up period might serve as markers as to which subjects are at risk for mobility decline.
doi:10.1093/gerona/52a.6.m356 pmid:9402942 fatcat:ja4ucasycjcu7mjk4kmfv4dv7e