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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2016 Oct;64(10):2042-2050. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14290. Epub 2016 Aug 22.

Dyspnea in Community-Dwelling Older Persons: A Multifactorial Geriatric Health Condition.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. brienne.miner@yale.edu.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Chronic Disease Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
4
Veterans Affairs Clinical Epidemiology Research Center, West Haven, Connecticut.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the associations between a broad array of cardiorespiratory and noncardiorespiratory impairments and dyspnea in older persons.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional.

SETTING:

Cardiovascular Health Study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Community-dwelling persons (N = 4,413; mean age 72.6, 57.1% female, 4.5% African American, 27.2% <high school education, 54.7% ever-smokers).

MEASUREMENTS:

Dyspnea severity (moderate to severe defined as American Thoracic Society Grade ≥2) and several impairments, including those established using spirometry (forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1 )), maximal inspiratory pressure (respiratory muscle strength), echocardiography, ankle-brachial index, blood pressure, whole-body muscle mass (bioelectrical impedance), single chair stand (lower extremity function), grip strength, serum hemoglobin and creatinine, Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), Mini-Mental State Examination, medication use, and body mass index (BMI).

RESULTS:

In a multivariable logistic regression model, impairments that had strong associations with moderate to severe dyspnea were FEV1 less than the lower limit of normal (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 2.88, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.37-3.49), left ventricular ejection fraction less than 45% (aOR = 2.12, 95% CI = 1.43, 3.16), unable to perform a single chair stand (aOR = 2.10, 95% CI = 1.61-2.73), depressive symptoms (CES-D score ≥16; aOR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.26-3.23), and obesity (BMI ≥30; aOR = 2.07, 95% CI = 1.67-2.55). Impairments with modest but still statistically significant associations with moderate to severe dyspnea included respiratory muscle weakness, diastolic cardiac dysfunction, grip weakness, anxiety symptoms, and use of cardiovascular and psychoactive medications (aORs = 1.31-1.71).

CONCLUSION:

In community-dwelling older persons, several cardiorespiratory and noncardiorespiratory impairments were significantly associated with moderate to severe dyspnea, akin to a multifactorial geriatric health condition.

KEYWORDS:

aging; cardiovascular disease; dyspnea; geriatric syndromes; lung diseases

PMID:
27549914
PMCID:
PMC5073004
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.14290
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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