Navigation Links
Higher levels of social activity decrease the risk of developing disability in old age
Date:2/17/2011

CHICAGOAfraid of becoming disabled in old age, not being able to dress yourself or walk up and down the stairs? Staying physically active before symptoms set in could help. But so could going out to eat, playing bingo and taking overnight trips.

According to research conducted at Rush University Medical Center, higher levels of social activity are associated with a decreased risk of becoming disabled. The study has just been posted online and will be published in the April issue of the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences.

"Social activity has long been recognized as an essential component of healthy aging, but now we have strong evidence that it is also related to better everyday functioning and less disability in old age," said lead researcher Bryan James, PhD, postdoctoral fellow in the epidemiology of aging and dementia in the Rush Alzheimer's Disease Center. "The findings are exciting because social activity is potentially a risk factor that can be modified to help older adults avoid the burdens of disability."

The study included 954 older adults with a mean age of 82 who are participating in the Rush Memory and Aging Project, an ongoing longitudinal study of common chronic conditions of aging. At the start of the investigation, none of the participants had any form of disability. They each underwent yearly evaluations that included a medical history and neurological and neuropsychological tests.

Social activity was measured based on a questionnaire that assessed whether, and how often, participants went to restaurants, sporting events or the teletract (off-track betting) or played bingo; went on day trips or overnight trips; did volunteer work; visited relatives or friends; participated in groups such as the Knights of Columbus; or attended religious services.

To assess disability, participants were asked whether they could perform six activities of daily living without help: feeding, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and walking across a small room. They were also asked whether they could perform three tasks that require mobility and strength: walking up and down a flight of stairs, walking a half mile and doing heavy housework. Finally, they were asked about their ability to perform what are referred to as "instrumental" activities of daily living, such as using the telephone, preparing meals and managing medications. Difficulties with household management and mobility are more common and represent less severe disability than difficulty with self-care tasks, so the measures represented a range of disability.

Results showed that a person who reported a high level of social activity was about twice as likely to remain free of a disability involving activities of daily living than a person with a low level of social activity, and about 1.5 times as likely to remain free of disability involving instrumental activities of daily living or mobility.

Why social activity plays a role in the development of disability is not clear, James said. Possibly, social activity may reinforce the neural networks and musculoskeletal function required to maintain functional independence.

Future research is needed to determine whether interventions aimed at increasing late-life social activity can play a part in delaying or preventing disability, James said.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sharon Butler
Sharon_Butler@rush.edu
312-942-7816
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Method of DNA repair linked to higher likelihood of genetic mutation
2. In-Hospital Blood Sugar Levels Should Be Higher: Report
3. Could Hair Loss at 20 Signal Higher Prostate Cancer Risk?
4. Higher Levels of Blood Protein Linked to Lower Respiratory Risks
5. Birth Defect Risk Slightly Higher for Kids of Male Cancer Survivors
6. Male cancer survivor offspring slightly higher risk of congenital birth abnormalities
7. Late nights can lead to higher risk of strokes and heart attacks
8. Minorities With Severe Leg Blockages at Higher Risk of Amputation
9. HIV Linked to Higher Pregnancy Rate in Young Women
10. More Screenings May Explain Higher Chlamydia Rates Among Minorities
11. Patients infected with HIV have higher drop-out rate for liver transplantation
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... ... on tooth replacement options at his office, Antoine Dental Center. Currently, patients can ... $18,499. Some restrictions may apply, but patients can learn more about these offers ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Smart Machine Age ... Oxford University predict that 47 percent of all jobs in the United States may ... and “successful.” The day of the aggressive know-it-all who steamrolls over colleagues is drawing ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... ... , ... With ProGlass Prism users now have the ability to simulate prism ... position, rotation, distortion, edge softness, edge blur, chromatic aberration, individual glass position offset, anchor ... Prism users are given the tools and effects to generate a fractal prismatic ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... , ... February 24, 2017 , ... The Radiology ... excellence in radiology marketing programs at the annual Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... Fort Worth Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas. Nine awards are given out in five ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... On February 22, 2017 the ... to withdraw previous guidance issued by the Obama Administration requiring schools to ... May 2016 by the Obama Administration came in response to a growing number ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/24/2017)... , Australie, le 24 février 2017 ITL Limited, ... santé diversifiée innovante, est ravie d,annoncer les excellents résultats ... la période précédente correspondante. Une présentation complète « Résultats et ... être consultée ici . Faits ... de 2,12 millions $ (Déc. 2015 : 1,04 million $ ; en hausse de ...
(Date:2/24/2017)... YORK , Feb. 23, 2017  The ... 330.6 million by 2021 from USD 275.9 million ... Read the full report: http://www.reportlinker.com/p04718602-summary/view-report.html ... increasing spending on pharmaceutical R&D, and growth in ... driving the market growth for particle counters. On ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... BOSTON , Feb. 23, 2017 ... devices and services since 1997, is changing the ... modern technology providing patients with pro-active, custom-made solutions. ... desire for instant and affordable healthcare without walls, ... of high-level devices developed with healthcare professionals that ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: