Mobility Stress Test Approach to Predicting Frailty, Disability, and Mortality in High-Functioning Older Adults
Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
© 2012, Copyright the Authors Journal compilation © 2012, The American Geriatrics Society
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume 60, Issue 10, pages 1901–1905, October 2012
How to Cite
J Am Geriatr Soc 60:1901–1905, 2012.
- Issue published online: 11 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 24 SEP 2012
- National Institute of Health (NIH)
- National Institute on Aging (NIA). Grant Numbers: RO1 AG025119, PO1 AG03949
- Paul B. Beeson Award. Grant Number: NIA-K23 AG030857
- NIH. Grant Numbers: K23NS05120901A1, K23 NS47256, PO1 AGO3949, RO1 AGO25119, RO1 AGO27734–06A2, RO1 AGO34119, RO1AG12101, K23 AGO30857
- National Headache Foundation
- Migraine Research Fund
To examine the validity of the Walking While Talking Test (WWT), a mobility stress test, to predict frailty, disability, and death in high-functioning older adults.
Prospective cohort study.
Six hundred thirty-one community-residing adults aged 70 and older participating in the Einstein Aging Study (mean follow-up 32 months). High-functioning status at baseline was defined as absence of disability and dementia and normal walking speeds.
Hazard ratios (HRs) for frailty, disability, and all-cause mortality. Frailty was defined as presence of three out of the following five attributes: weight loss, weakness, exhaustion, low physical activity, and slow gait. The predictive validity of the WWT was also compared with that of the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) for study outcomes.
Two hundred eighteen participants developed frailty, 88 developed disability, and 49 died. Each 10-cm/s decrease in WWT speed was associated with greater risk of frailty (HR = 1.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.06–1.18), disability (HR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.03–1.23), and mortality (HR = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.01–1.27). Most associations remained robust even after accounting for potential confounders and gait speed. Comparisons of HRs and model fit suggest that the WWT may better predict frailty whereas SPPB may better predict disability.
Mobility stress tests such as the WWT are robust predictors of risk of frailty, disability, and mortality in high-functioning older adults.