Risk Factors in the Elderly
In this study the investigators tried to assess which characteristics are related to the risk of being hospitalised in “older adults”. It has been established that as people get older they lose strength, but it is unclear whether having less muscle tissue necessarily means you are weaker per se, and it has also previously been unclear whether there are better ways to assess whether someone is at risk of being hospitalised. This study has answered those questions.
The goal of this study was to look at the link between “strength, function, lean mass, muscle density, and the risk for hospitalisation”. They assessed over 3000 people aged 70-80 years old, and took a bunch of measurements to see which ones would end up being important over time. They followed these people for the next few years and found the following to be important:
- Grip Strength
- Knee Strength
- Muscle Density
- Walking Pace
- Chair Stand Pace (Amount of Time it takes to Stand Up)
The following were, surprisingly, not important predictors of hospitalisation:
- Lean Mass
- Muscle Area
That is, it doesn’t matter if you lose a little size, it’s your performace in tasks that is the key indicator. And what helps improve your physical function in everyday tasks? http://www.chrisjonesosteo.com.au/?p=351
So if you are concerned about a friend or relative, keep an eye on their walking pace, their ability to stand up from a chair, and maybe their handshake strength, and if you find it starting to drop a bit, see if you can find somewhere locally where they can get into a bit of strength training.