Navigation Links
Reducing risk of hospitalization in the elderly

Older adults who have less strength, poor physical function and low muscle density are at higher risk of being hospitalized compared to adults with more strength and better function. That's the finding of a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society.

The study also found that muscle density, a measure of how much fat compared to lean tissue there is in the muscle, is a more accurate gauge of a person's risk of hospitalization than muscle mass or size. The relative risk for hospitizations was 50% higher for those with poor walking or less dense muscle mass

"Our research suggests that we need to re-think the way we define sarcopenia or age-related muscle loss," says Peggy Cawthon, PhD, MPH, a scientist with the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and the lead author of the study. "Many definitions of sarcopenia today tend to focus on lean mass or muscle size, our study shows that is looking at the wrong factors. We found that muscle strength or performance were much better ways of measuring function."

The researchers followed 3,011 healthy, non-disabled adults between the ages of 70 and 80, for an average of almost five years. They measured their physical function in a number of ways including walking speed, their ability to stand up from a chair repeatedly, the strength of their grip and their leg strength. By the end of the study more than 55 percent of the participants had experienced one or more hospitalizations. Those most likely to end up in the hospital were the adults who scored lowest on the measures of physical function; this held true after allowing age, medical conditions, lean mass or muscle size. They also found that adults with the least dense thigh muscles, namely those with a higher proportion of fat in their thighs, were also at a higher risk of hospitalization compared to adults with more dense thighs.

"The findings are particularly important because they suggest that interventions, such as physical exercise, that improve physical function could help keep more vulnerable seniors out of the hospital," says Cawthon. "That would not only reduce disability but it would also reduce the huge economic burden associated with hospitalization of the elderly."

One in five Americans over the age of 65 suffers from sarcopenia. In 2000 the direct health care cost of treating it were estimated to be more than $18.5 billion. With the number of Americans older than 65 estimated to double by the middle of the century those costs are expected to increase dramatically.

Preventing older Americans from being hospitalized is more than just a matter of saving health care dollars, it may also save lives. Numerous studies show that even short stays in the hospital are associated with a greater future risk of functional decline and disability.

"Most methods of measuring muscle mass or density rely on complex imaging procedures, such as using quantitative computed tomography (QCT). Those are time consuming and expensive," says Cawthon. "However, we found that much simpler methods such as measuring walking speed are much easier and cheaper to do, and are even more accurate in determining a person's risk of future hospitalization. This gives us the ability to screen larger groups of people and help those at risk with some simple interventions, such as physical exercise."


Contact: Jennifer Beal

Related biology news :

1. The coming of biofuels: Study shows reducing gasoline emissions will benefit human health
2. Reducing the roadworks
3. Reducing animal experiments through top-class research
4. Reducing CO2 through technology and smart growth
5. Biofuels can provide viable, sustainable solution to reducing petroleum dependence
6. Effectiveness of progesterone in reducing preterm births may be altered by genetic predisposition
7. Reducing the damage of a heart attack
8. Pollinator decline not reducing crop yields just yet
9. Providing toilets, safe water is top route to reducing world poverty: UN University
10. Forest peoples rights key to reducing emissions from deforestation
11. Action needed now for Minnesota to reach goals in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2015
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 Research and Markets has ... 2016-2020" report to their offering. ... America to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during ... based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. ... the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016  The American College of ... Trade Show Executive Magazine as one of the fastest-growing ... May 25-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas ... the highest percentage of growth in each of the following ... exhibiting companies and number of attendees. The 2015 ACMG Annual ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... -- Alex,s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a leading national childhood ... state-of-the-art bioinformatics lab, using ,big data, to advance the ... Liz Scott , co-executive director of ALSF and ... Washington, D.C. , hosted by Vice ... of pediatric cancer research and awareness. ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016  Global demand for enzymes ... through 2020 to $7.2 billion.  This market includes ... cleaning products, biofuel production, animal feed, and other ... and biocatalysts). Food and beverages will remain the ... increasing consumption of products containing enzymes in developing ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" ... by its major shareholders, Clean Technology Fund I, LP ... States based venture capital funds which together ... (on a fully diluted, as converted basis), that they ... their entire equity holdings in Biorem to TUS Holdings ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , June 27, 2016  Sequenom, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... enabling healthier lives through the development of innovative products ... the United States denied its ... the claims of Sequenom,s U.S. Patent No. 6,258,540 (",540 ... criteria established by the Supreme Court,s Mayo Collaborative Services ...
Breaking Biology Technology: