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Temporal trends in impairments of physical function among older adults during 2001-16 in Sweden: towards a healthier ageing.
Karolinska institutet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7175-0093
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2018 (English)In: Age and Ageing, ISSN 0002-0729, E-ISSN 1468-2834, Vol. 47, no 5, p. 698-704Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: a trend towards decline in disability has been reported in older adults, but less is known about corresponding temporal trends in measured physical functions.

Objective: to verify these trends during 2001-16 in an older Swedish population.

Methods: functional status was assessed at three occasions: 2001-04 (n = 2,266), 2007-10 (n = 2,033) and 2013-16 (n = 1,476), using objectively measured balance, chair stands and walking speed. Point prevalence was calculated and trajectories of change in impairment/vital status were assessed and were sex-adjusted and age-stratified: 66; 72; 78; 81 and 84; 87 and 90.

Results: point prevalence of impairment was significantly lower at the 2013-16 assessment than the 2001-04 in chair stand amongst age cohorts 78-90 years, and in walking speed amongst age cohorts 72-84 years (P < 0.05), but not significantly different for balance. The prevalence remained stable between 2001-04 and 2007-10, while the decrease in chair stands and walking speed primarily occurred between 2007-10 and 2013-16. Among persons unimpaired in 2007-10, the proportion of persons who remained unimpaired in 2013-16 tended to be higher, and both the proportion of persons who became impaired and the proportion of persons who died within 6 years tended to be lower, relative to corresponding proportions for persons unimpaired in 2001-04. Overall, there were no corresponding changes for those starting with impairment.

Conclusions: our results suggest a trend towards less functional impairment in older adults in recent years. The improvements appear to be driven by improved prognosis amongst those without impairments rather than substantial changes in prognosis for those with impairments.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 47, no 5, p. 698-704
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:gih:diva-5895DOI: 10.1093/ageing/afy085PubMedID: 29893780OAI: oai:DiVA.org:gih-5895DiVA, id: diva2:1366540
Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2019-11-11Bibliographically approved

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Heiland, Emerald G

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