A life-course perspective on physical functioning in women

Peeters, Geeske, Dobson, Annette J., Deeg, Dorly J. H. and Brown, Wendy J. (2013) A life-course perspective on physical functioning in women. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 91 9: 661-670. doi:10.2471/BLT.13.123075

Author Peeters, Geeske
Dobson, Annette J.
Deeg, Dorly J. H.
Brown, Wendy J.
Title A life-course perspective on physical functioning in women
Journal name Bulletin of the World Health Organization   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1564-0604
Publication date 2013-07-23
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.2471/BLT.13.123075
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 91
Issue 9
Start page 661
End page 670
Total pages 10
Place of publication Geneva, Switzerland
Publisher World Health Organization
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Objective: To validate Kalache & Kickbusch's model: namely, that functional capacity peaks in early adulthood, then declines at a rate dependent on fitness level until a "disability threshold" is reached.

Methods: Data came from the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health, which followed three cohorts from 1996 to 2011: a young, a mid-aged and an older cohort (born in 1973-78, 1946-51 and 1921-26, respectively). The Short Form (36) Health Survey was used to measure physical functioning (score 1-100). The disability threshold was the mean physical functioning score in older women requiring assistance with daily activities (62.8). The relationship between age and physical functioning was modelled using spline regression for the entire sample, and by baseline physical functioning quintile and physical activity level.

Findings: Physical decline quickened with age: 0.05 annual units (95% confidence interval, CI: -0.13 to 0.22) at ages 18-23 years (i.e. no decline); -2.43 (95% CI: -2.64 to -2.23) at ages 82-90 years. Decline was faster in quintiles with lower baseline physical functioning in the younger and mid-age cohorts and in quintiles with higher baseline physical functioning in the older cohort. The disability threshold was reached at a mean age of 79 years, but the range was 45-88 years, depending on baseline physical functioning and physical activity.

Conclusion: Age and physical decline are not linearly related, as traditionally believed; decline accelerates with age. However, baseline physical functioning, but not physical activity, influences the rate of decline.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes DOAJ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 11 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 25 Nov 2013, 02:39:05 EST by Deborah Noon on behalf of School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences