Wednesday January 29, 2020

Brisk Walking May Prevent Disability in Older Adults, Says Study

We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal

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A man walking with a walker; Source: Wikimedia

Just one hour a week of brisk walking may prevent disability in older adults with arthritis pain, or aching or stiffness in the knee, hip, ankle or foot, a new study suggests.

The findings suggested that an hour of weekly moderate-to-vigorous physical activity allowed older adults to maintain their ability to perform daily tasks like getting dressed or cross a street before a traffic light walk signal changed.

“This is less than 10 minutes a day for people to maintain their independence. It’s very doable,” said lead author Dorothy Dunlop, Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the US.

“This minimum threshold may motivate inactive older adults to begin their path toward a physically active lifestyle with the wide range of health benefits promoted by physical activity,” Dunlop added.

For the study, published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the researchers analyzed four years of data from more than 1,500 adults.

A couple walking. Pixabay

The adults all had pain, aching or stiffness in lower extremity joints from osteoarthritis but were free of disability when they began the study. Their physical activity was monitored using accelerometers.

The team found that the weekly hour of exercise reduced their risk of mobility disability by 85 per cent and their risk of activities of daily living disability by almost 45 per cent.

Four years after the start of the study, 24 per cent of adults who did not get the weekly hour of brisk physical activity were walking too slowly to safely cross the street, and 23 per cent reported problems performing their morning routine.

Also Read- Engineers Develop Novel Wearable Device That Grabs Cancer Cells From Blood

“Our goal was to see what kind of activity would help people remain free of disability,” the lead author said.

“We hope this new public health finding will motivate an intermediate physical activity goal.” (IANS)

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Successful Bariatric Surgery Among Older Adults: Study

Weight loss surgeries are proven to be successful for older adults

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Study indicates that older adults treated with bariatric surgery can recover well and have a reduced risk of obesity-related complications. Pixabay

Weight-loss or bariatric surgeries are not usually performed in people above the age of 65. But researchers, including Indian-origin, have now found that these procedures could lead to successful weight loss and better diabetes control in older adults.

The study, presented at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Brighton, UK, indicates that elderly patients treated with bariatric surgery (gastric bypass or gastric sleeve) can recover well and have a reduced risk of obesity-related complications, including heart disease and diabetes.

“Although based on a small number of patients, our data suggest that successful weight loss and improved diabetes control can be safely achieved with surgery in older patients, which could have real benefits for their longevity and quality of life,” said study researcher Nader Lessan from the Abu Dhabi-based Imperial College London Diabetes Centre.

Lessan and the study’s co-author Saradalekshmi Radha assessed the results of 22 patients who had attended their medical centre and who had undergone weight loss surgery after the age of 65.

Two years after weight-loss surgery, the patients had, on an average, lost 24 per cent of their original body weight.

Older adults
Data suggests that successful weight loss and improved diabetes control can be safely achieved with surgery in older adults. Pixabay

In addition, of the 11 patients who had been on insulin to control their type 2 diabetes, four no longer needed it, while for others, the total insulin dose required had significantly decreased.

The only adverse effects reported during the two year period were iron and vitamin D deficiencies, which happen in younger patients too.

Also read- Bariatric Surgery Leads To Nutritional Deficiency

“Management of obesity and diabetes in old age is challenging. There is a lot of scepticism around conducting weight-loss surgery in patients over 65,” Lessan said.

“Our study suggests these procedures could be considered in older adults as an effective intervention to aid weight loss and associated complications.” (IANS)