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Age and gender differences in physical capability levels from mid-life onwards: the harmonisation and meta-analysis of data from eight UK cohort studies.

Cooper, R; Hardy, R; Aihie Sayer, A; Ben-Shlomo, Y; Birnie, K; Cooper, C; Craig, L; ... HALCyon study team, ; + view all (2011) Age and gender differences in physical capability levels from mid-life onwards: the harmonisation and meta-analysis of data from eight UK cohort studies. PLOS One , 6 (11) , Article e27899. 10.1371/journal.pone.0027899. Green open access

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Abstract

Using data from eight UK cohorts participating in the Healthy Ageing across the Life Course (HALCyon) research programme, with ages at physical capability assessment ranging from 50 to 90+ years, we harmonised data on objective measures of physical capability (i.e. grip strength, chair rising ability, walking speed, timed get up and go, and standing balance performance) and investigated the cross-sectional age and gender differences in these measures. Levels of physical capability were generally lower in study participants of older ages, and men performed better than women (for example, results from meta-analyses (N = 14,213 (5 studies)), found that men had 12.62 kg (11.34, 13.90) higher grip strength than women after adjustment for age and body size), although for walking speed, this gender difference was attenuated after adjustment for body size. There was also evidence that the gender difference in grip strength diminished with increasing age, whereas the gender difference in walking speed widened (p<0.01 for interactions between age and gender in both cases). This study highlights not only the presence of age and gender differences in objective measures of physical capability but provides a demonstration that harmonisation of data from several large cohort studies is possible. These harmonised data are now being used within HALCyon to understand the lifetime social and biological determinants of physical capability and its changes with age.

Type: Article
Title: Age and gender differences in physical capability levels from mid-life onwards: the harmonisation and meta-analysis of data from eight UK cohort studies.
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027899
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0027899
Language: English
Additional information: © 2011 Cooper et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. HALCyon is funded by the New Dynamics of Ageing (RES-353-25-0001) and RC is receiving support from this grant. DK, AAS and RH are supported by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council. The LBC1921 data were collected by grants from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (wave 1), a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Award to IJD (wave 2), and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government (wave 3). LBC1921 has been undertaken within The University of Edinburgh Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology, part of the cross council Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Initiative (G0700704/84698). Funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Economic and Social Research Council and Medical Research Council is gratefully acknowledged. The Hertfordshire Ageing Study and the Hertfordshire Cohort Study were funded by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, Arthritis Research United Kingdom and the University of Southampton. The Caerphilly Prospective Study was undertaken by the former Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit (South Wales), and the School of Social and Community Based Medicine, University of Bristol, acts as the data custodian. The Boyd Orr cohort has received funding from the Medical Research Council, the World Cancer Research Fund, Research into Ageing, United Kingdom Survivors, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Wellcome Trust, and the British Heart Foundation. The Aberdeen Birth Cohort 1936 data collection was funded by the Biological Sciences Research Council (wave 1) and the Alzheimer Research Trust. ELSA was developed by a team of researchers based at University College London, the National Centre for Social Research, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. The funding is provided by the National Institute of Aging in the United States, and a consortium of United Kingdom government departments co-ordinated by the Office for National Statistics. The NSHD is funded by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: Adolescent, Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Child, Preschool, Cohort Studies, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Middle Aged, Physical Endurance, Sex Factors, Walking, Young Adult
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1332535
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