Physical Activity May Decrease Mortality Risk in Frail Older Adults, Say Researchers

While previous research has found that physical exercise decreases fall risk and improves mobility, researchers at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) in Spain wondered whether physical activity could reduce frailty-associated mortality risk. In their study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, authors found that physical activity decreased mortality rates for healthy, prefrail, and frail adults over age 60.

Authors used data from a nationally representative sample of 3,896 community-dwelling individuals to explore any “separate and joint associations between physical activity and frailty” and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality rates.

At baseline, in 2000–2001, researchers interviewed participants at home about their “leisure-time” physical activity: inactive, occasional, several times a month, or several times a week. They administered both the Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation, Illness, and weight Loss (FRAIL) scale and 3 items from the 36-item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) to measure frailty, fatigue, resistance, ambulation, and weight loss. Participants also were asked whether they had been diagnosed with pneumonia, asthma or chronic bronchitis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, osteoarthritis or rheumatism, diabetes mellitus, depression under drug treatment, hip fracture, Parkinson disease, or cancer.

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Study: Even Small Amounts of PA Can Reduce CVD Risk Among the Elderly

It’s no secret that physical activity (PA) can decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in middle-aged adults, but researchers in England have found that the relationship also applies to the elderly, and that even small amounts of PA can markedly lower the chances of CVD hospitalization and death in this age group.

Researchers used data from the EPIC study, a 10-country prospective population study, to track CVD-related hospitalizations and deaths among 24,502 participants, aged 39-79 years, and compare those with participants’ self-reported PA. This isn’t the first study of its kind, but authors believe it is notable because of its focus on participants 65 and older, and its 18-year median follow-up duration—a relatively long time span that allowed researchers to follow some participants into old age. Findings were published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.

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‘Intensive’ Counseling Could Help Lessen CVD Risk in Individuals Who are Overweight or Obese

Behavioral counseling that promotes physical activity and a healthy diet has been found to be beneficial for adults who are overweight or obese with a risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD), according to a recent report from the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

In an article published August 26, the USPSTF cited “adequate evidence” that behavioral interventions “have a moderate net benefit” for this group, and that potential harm is “small to none.” The conclusions were reached after the task force reviewed 74 clinical trials, most of which studied combined counseling on diet and activity through multiple contacts over 9 to 12 months. The interventions were not focused specifically on weight loss, and trials conducted exclusively with persons who have diabetes were excluded.

Full story of counseling to help reduce CVD risk at APTA