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How Chronic Diseases Reduce Mobility In The Elderly

Diseases that affected the mobility of older adults included coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

How Chronic Diseases Reduce Mobility In The Elderly

Chronic diseases reduce physical activity level in older adults

Chronic diseases are a key factor behind the declining mobility of old people, a new study suggests.

The study was published in the Journal 'Annals of Medicine'.

"Healthcare professionals should pay attention to the mobility limitations caused by chronic diseases before older adults' independent living is endangered," says Professor Urho Kujala.


The study incorporated 779 twins aged between 71-75 years who were currently living at homes.

The study brought out that chronic diseases were behind the significant decrease in the measured amount of mobility without the research subjects noticing it.

Diseases that affected the mobility of older adults included coronary heart disease, diabetes, heart failure, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

More the number of diseases, lesser was the number of the physical activity level.

For individuals without diseases, the accrued number of steps per day was on average almost 7,000. In turn, those who reported at least three diseases moved less than 4,000 steps per day.

Being physically active in younger adulthood or early middle age did not affect the results," Professor Kujala explained.

She further added, "For those with or without diseases, there was no difference between the amounts of physical exercise in an earlier life. Therefore, it is likely that the difference between healthy and ill individuals is caused by the diseases."

Kujala stated that "More attention should be paid to the use of exercise therapy in healthcare. This benefits both individuals and society."

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