COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Comparison of walking parameters and cardiorespiratory changes during the 6-minute walk test in healthy sexagenarians and septuagenarians

Cindy L Hovington, Sylvie Nadeau, Alain Leroux
Gerontology 2009, 55 (6): 694-701
19776538

BACKGROUND: The 6-minute walk test (6-MWT) is commonly used in research, with a focus on walking distance parameters rather than the physiological parameters. Even though it has been reported that the distance walked during the 6-MWT decreases with age, the adaptation of cardiorespiratory functions in healthy older adults remains to be studied.

OBJECTIVES: The primary objective of this study was to compare the changes in walking distance and cardiorespiratory parameters during the 6-MWT in healthy sexagenarians and septuagenarians. A secondary objective was to determine the cardiorespiratory parameters and functional performance variables that best predict the distance covered during the 6-MWT.

METHODS: Ten healthy sexagenarians (G60, mean age 63.6 +/- 3.3 years) and 10 septuagenarians (G70, mean age 76.0 +/- 3.3 years) performed the 6-MWT while the distance, heart rate and oxygen uptake (VO(2)) were recorded. The subjects also completed the Timed-Up-and-Go, the Berg Balance Scale and the Human Activity Profile to establish their functional level.

RESULTS: Results showed that G60 reached significantly greater (p < 0.05) distance and VO(2) values during the 6-MWT than G70. In contrast, the energy cost of walking (O(2) cost) and heart rate did not differ between the 2 groups. Correlational analyses of the combined groups revealed that VO(2) was the variable that showed the strongest correlation with walking distance during the 6-MWT.

CONCLUSION: Results revealed that, while G60 achieved a greater level of walking performance than G70, the 2 groups maintained the same level of walking efficiency (O(2) cost) during the walk. Both groups adjusted their walking speed to have an oxygen consumption rate at a level sufficient to meet the energy demands of the task and prevent early exhaustion. Therefore, the 6-MWT appears to be a simple tool that can be used to assess cardiorespiratory parameters in older adults and be sensitive enough to detect differences between sexagenarians and septuagenarians.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
19776538
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"