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The Longitudinal Effects of Obesity on Physical Activity and Physical Function in Older Adults: 1808Board #3 June 2 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Riebe, Deborah FACSM; Blissmer, Bryan J.; Stamm, Karen E.; Garber, Carol Ewing FACSM; Lees, Faith D.; Greene, Geoffrey W.; Clark, Philip G.

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2011 - Volume 43 - Issue 5 - p 438
doi: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000401208.24005.1c
C-24 Free Communication/Poster - Body Composition II: JUNE 2, 2011 7:30 AM - 12:30 PM: ROOM: Hall B

1University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI. 2Columbia University, New York, NY.


(No relationships reported)

PURPOSE: Identifying the long-term effects of overweight and obesity in older adults is critical given the high prevalence of these conditions and the changing demographics of the population. Therefore, we investigated the effects of overweight and obesity on physical activity and physical function in older adults and examined any differential effects by gender or age.

METHODS: 394 men and women were separated in 3 groups based on BMI: normal weight (BMI 18.5-24.9; n = 116, age=81.0±6.0y), overweight (BMI 25.0-29.9; n = 162, age=79.7±5.5y), and obese (BMI 30.0 or higher; n = 116, age=79.2±5.5y). The Yale Physical Activity Scale (YPAS) and Timed Up-and-Go (TUG) were administered at baseline and 42 months later. A repeated measures MANCOVA with post-hoc Bonferroni pairwise comparisons was used to determine group differences among BMI groups, age groups (60-74 and 75+), and sex.

RESULTS: Women and the older age group had higher TUG scores and lower YPAS scores compare to men and the younger age group. There were no significant interactions between BMI categories and age or sex. YPAS activity summary score was lower (p<0.05) in the obese (49.9±2.8; 35.0±2.3) and overweight groups (50.4±2.5, 39.9±2.1) compared to the normal weight (59.5±2.9; 46.0±2.5) group at baseline and 42 months. TUG scores were higher (p > 0.05) in the obese group (9.1±.6 sec, 12.1±.5 sec) compared to the normal weight group (7.0±.6 sec; 10.4 ±.6) at both time points. The obese group was more likely to have abnormal TUG scores (> 8.5 sec) compared to the normal weight group at baseline (46% vs. 24%) and at follow-up (83% vs. 62%). At follow up, the proportion of individuals considered severely impaired (TUG > 14 sec) was significantly lower in the normal weight (16%) and overweight (14%) groups compared to the obese group (30%).

CONCLUSIONS: Increased age and being female were associated with decreased levels of physical activity and poorer physical function independent of BMI status. Although there was not a greater trajectory of decline, obesity had detrimental effects on physical activity and physical function at baseline and 42 months. The higher initial TUG score in the obese group resulted in a greater proportion of these individuals categorized at moderately or severely impaired at follow-up, suggesting a greater prevalence of disability in this group.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine