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J Am Geriatr Soc. 2017 May;65(5):980-988. doi: 10.1111/jgs.14742. Epub 2017 Feb 7.

Effect of Physical Activity on Self-Reported Disability in Older Adults: Results from the LIFE Study.

Author information

1
University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
2
Wake Forest University & School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
3
University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.
4
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.
5
Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Los Angeles, California.
6
Stanford University, School of Medicine, Stanford, California.
7
Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts.
8
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
9
Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES:

To test the hypothesis that a long-term structured, moderate intensity physical activity (PA) program is more effective than a health education (HE) program in reducing the risk of s elf-reported dependency and disability in basic activities of daily living (BADLs), disability in instrumental ADLs (IADL), and mobility disability.

DESIGN:

The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) study was a multicenter, single-blinded randomized trial.

SETTING:

University-based research clinic.

PARTICIPANTS:

Thousand six hundred and thirty five sedentary men and women aged 70-89 years, who had functional limitations, defined as a score ≤9 on the Short Physical Performance Battery.

INTERVENTION:

Participants were randomized to a structured, moderate intensity PA program (n = 818) that included aerobic, resistance, and flexibility exercises or to a HE program (n = 817).

MEASUREMENTS:

All outcomes were derived by self-report using periodic interviews that asked about the degree of difficulty and receipt of help during the past month. Dependency was defined as "receiving assistance" or "unable" to do ≥1 activities. Disability was defined as having "a lot of difficulty" or "unable" doing ≥1 activities. Severe disability was defined as reporting difficulty or being unable to perform ≥3 activities.

RESULTS:

Over an average follow-up of 2.6 years, the cumulative incidence of BADL dependency was 15.2% among PA and 15.1% among HE participants (HR = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.78-0.1.3). Intervention groups had similar rates of incident BADL disability, IADL disability and reported mobility disability. Reporting severe mobility disability (HR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.64-0.96) and ratings of difficulty on mobility tasks were reduced in the PA group.

CONCLUSION:

A structured physical activity intervention reduces reported severe mobility disability and difficulty on mobility tasks, but not BADL and IADL disability in older adults with functional limitations.

KEYWORDS:

ambulation; exercise; frailty; rehabilitation

PMID:
28168689
PMCID:
PMC5435532
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.14742
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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