ABSTRACT: To investigate the extent to which self-reported mobility deficit in the absence of impairment in activities of daily living (ADL) is associated with elevated mortality risk.
Prospective cohort study, with annual assessments of mobility and ADL status and ongoing monitoring of vital status.
Population-based cohort drawn from Medicare enrollees in New York City.
One thousand two hundred ninety-eight older adults reporting functional status at baseline (1992-1994) and 2 years later.
Subjects reported mobility (e.g., walking, climbing stairs, and rising from a chair) and ADL (e.g., bathing, toilet use, dressing, grooming, and feeding) limitations. Two-year functional status trajectories were noted. We used two additional follow-up periods, at 2 and 4 years, to examine the likelihood that older people with mobility deficit may face an increased risk of death without first passing through a state of enduring ADL disability.
At 2 years, 12.7% had incident mobility deficit without ADL disability, and 21.3% were persistently disabled in mobility without ADL disability. Relative to subjects free of disability at baseline and follow-up, risk of mortality in the incident mobility deficit group was elevated at 2 and 4 years but did not achieve statistical significance. By contrast, for subjects with persistent mobility impairment who did not report ADL impairment, the mortality risk was significantly elevated both at 2 years (relative risk (RR) = 2.5; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.1-5.7)) and 4 years (RR = 2.9; 95% CI = 1.7-4.9)) of follow-up. Mortality was significantly elevated in this group in analyses restricted to respondents with no or only one comorbid condition.
Continuing, self-reported mobility impairment in the absence of ADL deficit is a risk factor for mortality. Older people with self-reported mobility deficit face an increased risk of mortality without first passing through enduring states of ADL disability.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 12/2001; 49(11):1539-43. · 3.74 Impact Factor