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Associations of behavioural risk factors and health status with changes in physical capability over 10 years of follow-up: the MRC National Survey of Health and Development

Cooper, R; Muniz-Terrera, G; Kuh, D; (2016) Associations of behavioural risk factors and health status with changes in physical capability over 10 years of follow-up: the MRC National Survey of Health and Development. BMJ Open , 6 (4) , Article e009962. 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009962. Green open access

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: (1) To describe changes in objective measures of physical capability between ages 53 and 60-64 years; (2) to investigate the associations of behavioural risk factors (obesity, physical inactivity, smoking) and number of health conditions (range 0-4: hand osteoarthritis (OA); knee OA; severe respiratory symptoms; other disabling or life-threatening conditions (ie, cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes)) at age 53 years with these changes. DESIGN: Nationally representative prospective birth cohort study. SETTING: England, Scotland and Wales. PARTICIPANTS: Up to 2093 men and women from the Medical Research Council National Survey of Health and Development, who have been followed-up since birth in 1946, and underwent physical capability assessments performed by nurses following standard protocols in 1999 and 2006-2010. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Grip strength and chair rise speed were assessed at ages 53 and 60-64 years. Four categories of change in grip strength and chair rise speed were identified: decline, stable high, stable low, a reference group who maintained physical capability within a 'normal' range. RESULTS: Less healthy behavioural risk scores and an increase in the number of health conditions experienced were associated in a stepwise fashion with increased risk of decline in physical capability, and also of having low levels at baseline and remaining low. For example, the sex and mutually adjusted relative-risk ratios (95% CI) of being in the stable low versus reference category of chair rise speed were 1.58 (1.35-1.86) and 1.97 (1.57-2.47) per 1 unit change in behavioural risk score and health indicator count, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide evidence of the associations of a range of modifiable factors with age-related changes in physical capability. They suggest the need to target multiple risk factors at least as early as mid-life when aiming to promote maintenance and prevent decline in physical capability in later life.

Type: Article
Title: Associations of behavioural risk factors and health status with changes in physical capability over 10 years of follow-up: the MRC National Survey of Health and Development
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009962
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2015-009962
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Keywords: age-related change, ageing, behavioural risk factors, health status, physical capability
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1489625
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