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Intervention Can Cut Risk for Mobility Disability in Seniors

Reduced incidence of mobility disability seen in older adults with physical frailty and sarcopenia receiving multicomponent intervention

FRIDAY, May 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Among older adults with physical frailty and sarcopenia and a short physical performance battery (SPPB) score of 3 to 7, the incidence of mobility disability is reduced with participation in a multicomponent intervention, according to a study published online May 11 in The BMJ.

Roberto Bernabei, M.D., from Fondazione Policlinico Universitario “Agostino Gemelli” in Rome, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial at 16 clinical sites across 11 European countries involving 1,519 community-dwelling men and women aged 70 years or older with physical frailty and sarcopenia, defined as having an SPPB score of 3 to 9 points, low appendicular lean mass, and the absence of mobility disability. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a multicomponent intervention or education on healthy aging (control; 760 and 759 participants, respectively).

The researchers found that among participants with SPPB scores of 3 to 7, mobility disability occurred in 46.8 and 52.7 percent of those assigned to the intervention and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.78; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.67 to 0.92; P = 0.005). Persistent mobility disability occurred in 21 and 25 percent of participants in the intervention and control groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 0.79; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.62 to 1.01; P = 0.06). At 24 and 36 months, the between-group difference in the SPPB score was 0.8 points and 1.0 point, respectively, in favor of the multicomponent intervention.

“A multicomponent intervention based on physical activity with technological support and nutritional counselling was associated with a reduction in the incidence of mobility disability,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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