Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Geriatr. 2010 Oct 22;10:77. doi: 10.1186/1471-2318-10-77.

Loneliness and the rate of motor decline in old age: the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a community-based cohort study.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurological Sciences, Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center, Rush University Medical Center, 600 S, Paulina, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA. aron_s_buchman@rush.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Being alone, as measured by less frequent social interactions, has been reported to be associated with a more rapid rate of motor decline in older persons. We tested the hypothesis that feeling alone is associated with the rate of motor decline in community-dwelling older persons.

METHODS:

At baseline, loneliness was assessed with a 5-item scale in 985 persons without dementia participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, a longitudinal community-based cohort study. Annual detailed assessment of 9 measures of muscle strength and 9 motor performances were summarized in a composite measure of global motor function.

RESULTS:

Linear mixed-effects models which controlled for age, sex and education, showed that the level of loneliness at baseline was associated with the rate of motor decline (Estimate, -0.016; S.E. 0.006, p = 0.005). For each 1-point higher level of loneliness at baseline, motor decline was 40% more rapid; this effect was similar to the rate of motor decline observed in an average participant 4 years older at baseline. Furthermore, this amount of motor decline per year was associated with about a 50% increased risk of death. When terms for both feeling alone (loneliness) and being alone were considered together in a single model, both were relatively independent predictors of motor decline. The association between loneliness and motor decline persisted even after controlling for depressive symptoms, cognition, physical and cognitive activities, chronic conditions, as well as baseline disability or a history of stroke or Parkinson's disease.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among community-dwelling older persons, both feeling alone and being alone are associated with more rapid motor decline, underscoring the importance of psychosocial factors and motor decline in old age.

PMID:
20969786
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2975650
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (1)Free text

Figure 1
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk