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Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2003 May;23(3):171-6.

Postural sway in normal subjects aged 20-70 years.

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Department of Rheumatology, The Parker Institute, Frederiksberg Hospital, Frederiksberg, Denmark.


So far, no population-based reference material of postural sway has been presented in the literature. This study evaluated postural control by measuring posturographic parameters, with the aim of establishing useful standards with regard to gender, age, body weight, cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption and articular hypermobility. This was performed in an age-stratified random sample of 195 subjects from the Copenhagen City Heart Study, of whom, 133 agreed to participate. Measurement of postural sway was performed the Balance Master Pro(R). Outcome parameters were average angular velocity, target sway area, per cent maximum stability and per cent ankle strategy. Using SAS Proc Mixed, backward stepwise elimination was performed and 95% prediction intervals were obtained. Sway increased with increasing difficulty of the test (P<0.001) and with increasing age (P<0.001). No differences were found between the sexes. Ankle-strategy did not change with age, but decreased with increasing body weight, and increased in subjects reporting a consumption of modest amounts of alcohol (P<0.001), or with the finding of increased hypermobility (P = 0.006). The present material may be used as a reference in further studies of postural control.

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