Chronic Disease Associated With Mobility Limitations
Maintaining mobility later in life is linked with quality of life, and loss of mobility can lead to an increase in depression, stress, and feelings of isolation. A new study has found that chronic diseases are a key factor in limiting mobility in older people, and the gradual restriction often goes unnoticed.
Participants in the study included 779 twins between the ages of 71 and 75 who were currently living at home. They wore hip accelerometers to monitor physical activity and answered questions regarding diseases and mobility limitations.
The diseases found to typically affect mobility were coronary heart disease, heart failure, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The researchers found that 92.3% of participants who did not have a disease that restricted mobility reported having no limitations in walking 2km, compared to 43.1% of participants with a disease. For those without a disease, the average number of steps per day was 7,000, compared to less than 4,000 per day in those with a disease.
The researchers noted that many of the participants with mobility limitations were not aware that they were linked to a chronic disease.
The study was conducted by researchers from the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland. It was published online ahead of print on March 5, 2019 in theAnnals of Medicine.