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Physical activity protects against functional decline in elderly women

19 Jun 2020

Exercise may help preserve physical function among older women with or without osteosarcopenic obesity (OSO), a recent study has found.

The study included 152 older women (aged 60 years), in whom body composition was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Physical testssuch as the static balance, the chair stand, and the 4-m walking testswere used to evaluate physical function. Functional capacity and engagement in physical activity (PA) were obtained from self-reports.

Researchers found a significant and inverse correlation between scores on the short physical performance battery (SPPB) and physical activity during leisure time. This interaction was observed in those with (β, 0.94. 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.37–1.50; p<0.05) or without (β, 0.20, 95 percent CI, 0.01–0.39; p<0.05) OSO.

In participants with OSO, the correlation remained significant even after adjusting for age, depression, hypertension, body mass index, income, and surgery (β, 0.88, 95 percent CI, 0.31–1.46; p<0.05).

Similarly, leisure-time exercise also correlated with better dependence in activities of daily living, both in participants with (β, –1.13, 95 percent CI, –1.73 to –0.53; p<0.01) and without (β, –0.24, 95 percent CI, –0.42 to –0.06; p<0.05) OSO. In both subgroups, this remained true even after controlling for confounders.

Moreover, total habitual exercise also led to better dependence in both patient subgroups and in both unadjusted and adjusted analyses.

“Preventive measures such as the participation of this public in places that supervise and offer the practice of exercises directed to maintenance of functional capacity can contribute to the quality of life of this population,” researchers said.

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