Physical performance measures as a useful indicator of multiple geriatric syndromes in women aged 75 years and older

Satoshi Seino, Noriko Yabushita, Mi-Ji Kim, Miyuki Nemoto, Songee Jung, Yosuke Osuka, Yoshiro Okubo, Rafael Figueroa, Tomoaki Matsuo, Kiyoji Tanaka
Geriatrics & Gerontology International 2013, 13 (4): 901-10

AIM: To identify whether individual physical performance measures or a combination of measures is a better indicator of multiple geriatric syndromes (MGS) defined as the concomitant presence of more than one geriatric syndrome in an individual.

METHODS: We carried out cross-sectional analyses on data from 340 community-dwelling women aged 75 years and older (mean 80.0 years). We examined the following geriatric syndromes: urinary incontinence, falls, underweight, depression and functional decline. Trained testers measured usual gait speed (UGS), hand-grip strength and lower extremity performance (LEP) score derived from four LEP measures: tandem stance, chair stand test, alternate step and timed up-and-go (TUG). We categorized UGS to distinguish high- and low-performing participants using the established 1.0 m/s cut-off point. Applying the same population percentile (35.8%), we determined cut-off points for all individual measures and the LEP score.

RESULTS: The UGS, TUG and LEP score had similar discriminating powers for MGS (each with area under receiver-operator curves [AUC] of 0.80), which were more significant than the discriminating powers of other individual measures (AUC = 0.69-0.76) when considered as continuous variables. A slow UGS, especially less than 1.0 m/s, was more strongly associated with MGS (odds ratio [OR] = 7.6, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 3.6-15.9) than the same percentiles for TUG (OR = 3.9, 95% CI = 1.9-7.8) and LEP score (OR = 5.2, 95% CI = 2.5-10.6).

CONCLUSION: The UGS test alone might be sufficient in detecting MGS in women aged 75 years and older compared with a more comprehensive test battery.

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