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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2011 Nov;66(11):1226-37. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glr123. Epub 2011 Aug 8.

The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study: design and methods.

Collaborators (187)

McDermott MM, Spring B, Hauser J, Gulati M, Shah S, Domanchuk K, Graff R, Kadela K, Rego A, Church T, Blair S, Myers V, Monce R, Britt N, Nauta M, Parks A, Rodarte R, Millet H, Tudor-Locke C, Butitta B, Donatto S, Hadley EC, Patel KV, Romashkan S, Kaplan RM, King AC, Castro CM, Haskell WL, Stafford RS, Yank V, Pruitt LA, Berra K, Bell C, Thiessen R, Youngman KP, Virgen SB, Tarin KN, Klaftenegger H, Prosak CA, Campero I, Garcia DM, Soto J, Chio L, Hoskins D, Fielding R, Nelson M, Folta S, Phillips E, Liu C, Cifarelli E, Reid K, Lacasse P, Kirn D, Pasha E, Ribourg S, Ruais K, Kim W, Cloutier G, Nayfield S, Pahor M, Anton S, Buford T, Manini T, Nocera J, Marsiske M, Sandesara B, Lee J, Hiatt-Jensen D, Black M, Case K, Herring K, Schwier-Delvisco A, Burk B, Hoover B, Knaggs J, Martin A, Xie C, Morris H, Singletary F, Causer J, Yonce S, Boccio CD, Gay C, Alexander TP, Pahor M, Anton S, Buford T, Leeuwenburgh C, Nayfield S, Manini T, Caudle C, Crump L, Holmes L, Lee J, Lester R, Lu CJ, O'Mara R, Pepine CJ, Ariet M, Handberg E, Deluca D, Hill J, Guralnik JM, Newman AB, Studenski SA, Goodpaster BH, Lopez O, Glynn NW, Bonk JT, Rush J, Kost P, Gerger A, Vincent P, Davis L, Newman MA, Grove G, Williams K, San VA, Diego S, Groessl EJ, Kritchevsky SB, Marsh A, Brinkley T, Demons J, Sink K, Kennedy K, Shertzer-Skinner R, Wrights A, Fries R, Barr D, Williamson J, Sink KM, Hendrie HC, Rapp SR, Verghese J, Woolard N, Miller ME, Espeland M, Ambrosius W, Babcock D, Beavers D, Byington RP, Cook D, Furberg C, Goode C, Griffin J, Harvin L, Henkin L, Hepler J, Hsu FC, Joyce K, Lovato L, Roberson W, Robertson J, Rushing J, Rushing S, Stowe CL, Walkup MP, Hire D, Rejeski J, Katula J, Brubaker PH, Mihalko S, Jennings JM, Lane K, Gill TM, Axtell RS, Kashaf SS, de Renekeire N, McGloin JM, Mautner R, Huie-White SM, Bianco L, Zocher J, Shepard DM, Fennelly B, Halpin S, Barnett T, Wu KC, Iannone LP, Bugaj JA, Bailey C, Vaz Fragoso CA, Chupp G, Flynn G, Gill TM, Hankinson J.

Author information

Nutrition, Exercise Physiology, and Sarcopenia Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.



As the number of older adults in the United States rises, maintaining functional independence among older Americans has emerged as a major clinical and public health priority. Older people who lose mobility are less likely to remain in the community; demonstrate higher rates of morbidity, mortality, and hospitalizations; and experience a poorer quality of life. Several studies have shown that regular physical activity improves functional limitations and intermediate functional outcomes, but definitive evidence showing that major mobility disability can be prevented is lacking. A Phase 3 randomized controlled trial is needed to fill this evidence gap.


The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Study is a Phase 3 multicenter randomized controlled trial designed to compare a supervised moderate-intensity physical activity program with a successful aging health education program in 1,600 sedentary older persons followed for an average of 2.7 years.


LIFE's primary outcome is major mobility disability, defined as the inability to walk 400 m. Secondary outcomes include cognitive function, serious fall injuries, persistent mobility disability, the combined outcome of major mobility disability or death, disability in activities of daily living, and cost-effectiveness.


Results of this study are expected to have important public health implications for the large and growing population of older sedentary men and women.


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