Age-related changes in gait domains: Results from the LonGenity study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Impairment in gait domains such as pace, rhythm, and variability are associated with falls, cognitive decline, and dementia. However, the longitudinal changes in these gait domains are poorly understood. The aim of this study was to examine age-related changes in gait domains overall and in those with cognitive impairment and mobility disability. Methods: Participants were from the LonGenity study (n = 797; M Age=75.1 SD 6.5 years; 58.2% female) and were followed up to 12 years (Median=3.3; IQR: 1.1; 6.3). Gait speed and absolute values of step length, step time, cadence and, variability (standard deviation) of step length and step time during usual pace walking were assessed. Principal components analysis was used to obtain weighted combinations of three gait domains: pace (velocity, step length), variability (step length variability, step time variability) and rhythm (step time). Linear mixed effect models were used to examine age-related changes in gait domains overall, and in those with cognitive impairment and mobility disability at baseline. Results: Pace declined, and rhythm increased (worsened) in an accelerating non-linear fashion. Variability gradually increased with age. Those with cognitive impairment had faster rates of change in pace and rhythm. Those with mobility disability had faster increases in rhythm. Conclusions: Age-related changes in gait domains are not uniform. Individuals with cognitive and mobility impairments are particularly vulnerable to accelerated change in pace and or rhythm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalGait and Posture
Volume100
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • Cognitive impairments
  • Mobility disability
  • Pace
  • Rhythm
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation

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