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  • 1/6/2011

Brisk-gaited seniors live longer: Study


Measuring how fast older people walk may aid doctors to estimate how long their senior patients may live and how much healthy they are, a study says.

Older people who typically walk at a speed of 1 meter per second or faster live longer than expected compared to their slower peers, according to the study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The analysis of nine studies, involving more than 34,000 people over the age of 60, showed that each 0.1 meter increase in walking speed per second corresponded to a 12 percent relative reduction in the risk of death during study, Dr. Stephanie Studenski of the University of Pittsburgh said.

"Walking requires energy, movement control, and support and places demands on multiple organ systems, including the heart, lungs, circulatory, nervous, and musculoskeletal systems. Slowing gait may reflect both damaged systems and a high energy cost of walking," Studenski said.

Although, she explained a slow gait just as a warning sign and not meaning that slow walking people are doomed to death.

"There is clearly a group of people, who walk slowly and live a long time," she said. "There's also no evidence that you’ll live longer if you boost your walking speed."

"Gait speed has the potential to be implemented in practice, using a stop watch and a four meter course," the study suggested.

Researchers believe that the analysis of walking speed in future may suggest doctors which elder people needs more attention and medical aid.

Additionally, monitoring gait speed over time for deviations may allow for the detection of new health problems that require evaluation, researchers said.

Source: presstv.ir

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