Physical fitness and functional limitations in community-dwelling older adults.
BACKGROUND: Conceptual models of disability have focused on disease-specific factors as the primary cause of disability. Functional limitations in the performance of basic tasks are considered primary mediators on the causal pathway from disease to disability. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to assess the association between three fitness components (cardiorespiratory, morphologic, and strength) and functional limitations. METHODS: Analyses employed data collected upon 161 older adults (72.5 +/- 5.1 yr) who agreed to undergo baseline testing in a clinical trial. RESULTS: After controlling for age, race, sex, education, depressive symptoms, and body mass index, all three fitness components were directly associated with functional limitations (P < 0.05). This study is the first to characterize a broad set of individual fitness components as they relate to functional limitations and the first to examine directly measured cardiorespiratory fitness within the context of existing disability models. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that low fitness is a risk factor for functional decline independent of disease processes.
Morey, MC; Pieper, CF; Cornoni-Huntley, J
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