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J Aging Health. 2018 Dec 26:898264318820448. doi: 10.1177/0898264318820448. [Epub ahead of print]

Hilliness and the Development of Walking Difficulties Among Community-Dwelling Older People.

Author information

1
1 Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
2
2 Gerontology Research Center, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
3
3 JAMK University of Applied Sciences, Jyväskylä, Finland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The objective of this study is to study the associations of objectively defined hilliness with the prevalence and incidence of walking difficulties among community-dwelling older adults, and to explore whether behavioral, health, or socioeconomic factors would fully or partially explain these associations.

METHOD:

Baseline interviews ( n = 848, 75-90 years) on difficulties in walking 500 m, frequency of moving through the neighborhood, and perceived hilliness as a barrier to outdoor mobility were conducted. Two-year follow-up interviews ( n = 551) on difficulties in walking 500 m were conducted among participants without baseline walking difficulties. Hilliness objectively defined as the mean slope in 500-m road network.

RESULTS:

Logistic regression showed that hilliness was associated with incident walking difficulties at the 2-year follow-up (odds ratio [OR] = 1.66, 95% confidence interval [CI] = [1.09, 2.51]) but not with the prevalence of walking difficulties at baseline. Adding behavioral, health, or socioeconomic factors to the models did not markedly change the results.

DISCUSSION:

Greater hilliness should be considered a risk factor for developing walking difficulties among older adults.

KEYWORDS:

GIS; aging; mobility limitation; neighborhood; slope

PMID:
30587067
DOI:
10.1177/0898264318820448

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