Respiratory impairment and dyspnea and their associations with physical inactivity and mobility in sedentary community-dwelling older persons

Carlos A. Vaz Fragoso*, Daniel P. Beavers, John L. Hankinson, Gail Flynn, Kathy Berra, Stephen B. Kritchevsky, Christine K. Liu, Mary M. McDermott, Todd M. Manini, W. Jack Rejeski, Thomas M. Gill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives To evaluate the prevalence of respiratory impairment and dyspnea and their associations with objectively measured physical inactivity and performance-based mobility in sedentary older persons. Design Cross-sectional. Setting Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study. Participants Community-dwelling older persons (n = 1,635, mean age 78.9) who reported being sedentary (<20 min/wk of regular physical activity and <125 min/wk of moderate physical activity in past month). Measurements Respiratory impairment was defined as low ventilatory capacity (forced expiratory volume in 1 second less than lower limit of normal (LLN)) and respiratory muscle weakness (maximal inspiratory pressure <LLN). Dyspnea was defined as moderate to severe ratings on the modified Borg index, immediately after a 400-m walk test (400-MWT). Physical inactivity was defined according to high sedentary time as the highest quartile of participants with accelerometry-measured activity of <100 counts/min. Performance-based mobility was evaluated using the Short Physical Performance Battery (≤7 defined as moderate to severe mobility impairment) and 400-MWT gait speed (<0.8 m/s defined as slow). Results Prevalence rates were 17.7% for low ventilatory capacity, 14.7% for respiratory muscle weakness, 31.6% for dyspnea, 44.7% for moderate to severe mobility impairment and 43.6% for slow gait speed. Significant associations were found between low ventilatory capacity and slow gait speed (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.41, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.03-1.92), between respiratory muscle weakness and moderate to severe mobility impairment (aOR = 1.42, 95% CI = 1.03-1.95), and between dyspnea and high sedentary time (aOR = 1.98, 95% CI = 1.28-3.06) and slow gait speed (aOR = 1.70, 95% CI = 1.22-2.38). Conclusion Respiratory impairment and dyspnea are prevalent in sedentary older persons and are associated with objectively measured physical inactivity and poor performance-based mobility. Because they are modifiable, respiratory impairment and dyspnea should be considered in the evaluation of sedentary older persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)622-628
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume62
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

Keywords

  • FEV1
  • dyspnea
  • mobility
  • respiratory muscle weakness
  • sedentary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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    Vaz Fragoso, C. A., Beavers, D. P., Hankinson, J. L., Flynn, G., Berra, K., Kritchevsky, S. B., Liu, C. K., McDermott, M. M., Manini, T. M., Jack Rejeski, W., & Gill, T. M. (2014). Respiratory impairment and dyspnea and their associations with physical inactivity and mobility in sedentary community-dwelling older persons. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 62(4), 622-628. https://doi.org/10.1111/jgs.12738