Relationship between functional fitness and physical health status in community-dwelling elderly

T. Arao, H. Kohno, Y. Oida, Y. Kitabatake, K. Egawa, Y. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To examine the association of the level of functional fitness to health status, cross sectional data were obtained for 731 persons aged 65 years or older who were living independently. They represented 77.9% of the whole population of independently living elderly in the rural community. Functional fitness test, dental and medical examinations, and interviews were performed for all subjects. Functional fitness was measured with a simplified functional fitness test containing 4 task items: standing, walking, hand- working, and self-care-working. In statistical analysis, the functional fitness index adjusted for age was used. With the results of interviews, histories of stroke, hospitalization within the previous year, and physical pain in males, and histories of physical pain and bed resting for more than 1 week within the previous year in females were significantly associated with the level of functional fitness. With the results of morphological and physiological tests, calcification in thoracic aorta in males and BMI and the transverse diameter of the heart silhouette in females were significantly associated with the functional fitness level. With the results of blood tests, total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol; number of red blood cell, and β2-microglobulin in males showed significant relationships to the functional fitness evel, but none of the measurements in females showed a significant relationship to it. With the results of dental and medical examinations, mastication in males and mastication, number of functional teeth, dental and internal diagnosis in females were positively associated with the functional fitness level. Multiple classification analysis showed significant associations of the functional fitness level to the history of stroke, physical pain, or calcification in thoracic aorta in males and to physical pain, internal diagnosis, or the transverse diameter of the heart silhouette in females, respectively. These results suggest that the level of functional fitness in the elderly living independently in the community was independently or dependently associated with the histories of diseases and many indices of dental and medical examinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalBulletin of the Physical Fitness Research Institute
Issue number96
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Functional fitness
  • Physical health status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology

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