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J Am Geriatr Soc. 1994 Sep;42(9):923-9.

Functional status and mobility among elderly women with lower extremity arterial disease: the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.



To investigate the relationship between lower extremity arterial disease, functional status, and mobility among elderly women.


Cross-sectional study.




1492 healthy white women, 65 years of age or older, residing in a rural community, able to walk without the assistance of another person, and enrolled in the Pittsburgh clinic of the multicenter Study of Osteoporotic Fractures. Those with bilateral hip replacement were excluded.


Ankle/arm index (AAI); instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs); measures of recent physical activity, muscle strength, gait and balance; general demographic, lifestyle, and physical variables.


Women with lower extremity arterial disease (defined as an AAI of 0.9 or less) were more likely to report difficulty with one or more IADLs than were women free of this disease. After adjusting for age and other potential confounders, only difficulty with walking 2-3 blocks remained highly correlated with disease (relative risk (RR) 2.8, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.6, 4.8). Several measures of physical activity were inversely and independently related to a low AAI. Muscle strength in the hip, arm, knee, and hand and measures of static and dynamic balance were correlated with low AAI in the univariate analysis, but most of these trends were not statistically significant after adjustment for age and other confounders. Exclusion of women with symptomatic arterial disease did not substantially affect the results obtained.


Women with mild, predominantly subclinical, lower extremity arterial disease living in the community have decreased functional status and mobility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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