Age and sex differences of risk factors of activity limitations in Japanese older adults

Takafumi Monma, Fumi Takeda, Haruko Noguchi, Nanako Tamiya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: The objective of the present study was to verify how socioeconomic and physical/mental health status would be associated with activity limitations by age and sex among older adults, using nationally representative cross-sectional data in Japan. Methods: The present study focused on 8373 older adults aged 65 years or older extracted from the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions conducted in 2007 by the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses and population-attributable risk were applied to validate the relationships of socioeconomic and physical/mental health status with activity limitations among the total population, and by age groups (young-old or old-old) and sex. Results: Mental health showed the highest odds ratio and population-attributable risk in the total population. In addition, low back pain was associated with activity limitations regardless of age and sex. Other musculoskeletal diseases, such as arthropathy and osteoporosis, were related to activity limitations for women, regardless of age, whereas cardiovascular diseases, including angina pectoris/myocardial infarction and cerebral stroke, were associated with activity limitations for men in any age group. There were no statistically significant correlations between socioeconomic status and activity limitations in any groups. Conclusion: Mental health was the most important factor of activity limitations in Japanese older adults. Furthermore, low back pain regardless of age and sex, other musculoskeletal diseases only for women and cardiovascular diseases mainly for men could also be significant risk factors to activity limitations. Therefore, preventive approaches of activity limitations considering sex differences are important for older adults in Japan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-678
Number of pages9
JournalGeriatrics and Gerontology International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jun 1


  • Activity limitations
  • Aged
  • Diseases
  • Gender difference
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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