We explore the association between bone T-scores, used in osteoporosis diagnosis, and functional status since we hypothesized that bone health can impact elderly functional status and indirectly independence.
In a cross-sectional study (2005–2006) on community dwelling elderly (> = 75 years) from Herne, Germany we measured bone T-scores with Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry, and functional status indexed by five geriatric tests: activities of daily living, instrumental activities of daily living, test of dementia, geriatric depression score and the timed-up-and-go test, and two pooled indexes: raw and standardized. Generalized linear regression was used to determine the relationship between T-scores and functional status.
From 3243 addresses, only 632 (19%) completed a clinical visit, of which only 440 (male∶female, 243∶197) could be included in analysis. T-scores (−0.99, 95% confidence interval [CI], −1.1–0.9) predicted activities of daily living (95.3 CI, 94.5–96.2), instrumental activities of daily living (7.3 CI, 94.5–96.2), and timed-up-and-go test (10.7 CI, 10.0–11.3) (P< = 0.05). Pooled data showed that a unit improvement in T-score improved standardized pooled functional status (15 CI, 14.7–15.3) by 0.41 and the raw (99.4 CI, 97.8–101.0) by 2.27 units. These results were limited due to pooling of different scoring directions, selection bias, and a need to follow-up with evidence testing.
T-scores associated with lower functional status in community-dwelling elderly. Regular screening of osteoporosis as a preventive strategy might help maintain life quality with aging.