Objective: To determine gait performance in community-residing nonagenarians. Design: Nested case-control study. Setting: Community. Participants: Thirty-one nondisabled nonagenarians (17 women) and 170 young-old controls (age range, 70-85y) participating in a longitudinal study. Interventions: Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures: Systematic clinical and quantitative gait assessments. We also examined the association of gait velocity with death over a 1-year period. Results: Nonagenarian men had better performance on all quantitative gait parameters examined compared with women. Male sex (β=.58; 95% confidence interval [CI], 9.95-38.89) and depressive symptoms (β=-.34; 95% CI, -6.73 to -0.04) were independently associated with gait velocity in multivariate linear regression models. The 6 hypertensive nonagenarians on angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors had faster gait velocity (median, 103.1cm/s) compared with the 8 hypertensive nonagenarians not on ACE inhibitors (median, 77.5cm/s; P=.029). Nonagenarians had worse quantitative gait parameters compared with the young-old controls, although the differences were less marked when subjects with clinically normal gaits in both groups were compared. Gait velocity did not predict survival over 1-year follow-up. Conclusions: Gait characteristics in nondisabled community-residing nonagenarians are associated with male sex, depressive symptoms, and medications. The quantitative gait measures in this sample of nondisabled nonagenarians provide a yardstick to compare younger-age groups.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation