Dept of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, University of Mississippi, University, MS.
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Sensory Impairment, Functional Balance and Physical Activity With All-Cause Mortality
- Published on Sep 2016
Objective: No study has comprehensively examined the independent and combined effects of sensory impairment, physical activity and balance on mortality risk, which was this study’s purpose.
Methods: Data from the population-based 2003–2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) was used, with follow-up through 2011. Physical activity was assessed via accelerometry. Balance was assessed via the Romberg test. Peripheral neuropathy was assessed objectively using a standard monofilament. Visual impairment was objectively assessed using an autorefractor. Hearing impairment was assessed via self-report. A 5-level index variable (higher score is worse) was calculated based on the participant’s degree of sensory impairment, dysfunctional balance and physical inactivity.
Results: Among the 1658 participants (age 40–85 yrs), 228 died during the median follow-up period of 92 months. Hearing (Hazard Ratio [HR] = 1.18; P = .40), vision (HR = 1.17; P = .58) and peripheral neuropathy (HR = 1.06; P = .71) were not independently associated with all-cause mortality, but physical activity (HR = 0.97; P = .01) and functional balance (HR = 0.59; P = .03) were. Compared with those with an index score of 0, the HR (95% CI) for those with an index score of 1 to 3, respectively, were 1.20 (0.46–3.13), 2.63 (1.08–6.40) and 2.88 (1.36–6.06).
Conclusions: Physical activity and functional balance are independent contributors to survival.