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1.  The Propensity for Inducing Atrial Fibrillation: A Comparative Study on Old versus Young Rabbits 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:684918.
It is well established that atrial fibrillation (AF) is far more common in elderly humans. Autonomic activation is thought to be an operative mechanism for AF propensity. The aim of the study was to investigate the impact of age on atrial tachyarrhythmia induction in a rabbit model. Six old (aged 4–6 years) and 9 young (aged 3-4 months) New Zealand white rabbits were subjected to a catheter-based electrophysiological study. Atrial tachyarrhythmia susceptibility was tested by burst pacing before and after infusion of increasing concentrations of acetylcholine. Both young and old rabbits were in normal sinus rhythm at the beginning of the infusion/burst pacing protocol. The old rabbits had faster heart rates and a marked increase in atrial tachyarrhythmias compared to the young rabbits. Nonsustained and sustained AF events were more frequent in the old rabbits. No significant fibrosis was observed in the atria of either young or old rabbits. In conclusion, the old rabbits have a greater propensity for induction of AF. The significantly faster heart rates in the old rabbits suggest that dominant sympathetic activity may play an important role in the propensity for AF in this group.
PMCID: PMC3955625  PMID: 24719763
2.  Effect of Dementia on the Use of Drugs for Secondary Prevention of Ischemic Heart Disease 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:897671.
Background. Dementia and cardiovascular disease (CVD) are frequently comorbid. The presence of dementia may have an effect on how CVD is treated. Objective. To examine the effect of dementia on the use of four medications recommended for secondary prevention of ischemic heart disease (IHD): angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, beta-blockers, lipid-lowering medications, and antiplatelet medications. Design. Retrospective analysis of data from the Cardiovascular Health Study: Cognition Study. Setting and Subjects. 1,087 older adults in four US states who had or developed IHD between 1989 and 1998. Methods. Generalized estimating equations to explore the association between dementia and the use of guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD. Results. The length of follow-up for the cohort was 8.7 years and 265 (24%) had or developed dementia during the study. Use of medications for the secondary prevention of IHD for patients with and without dementia increased during the study period. In models, subjects with dementia were not less likely to use any one particular class of medication but were less likely to use two or more classes of medications as a group (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.36–0.99). Conclusions. Subjects with dementia used fewer guideline-recommended medications for the secondary prevention of IHD than those without dementia.
PMCID: PMC3955600  PMID: 24719764
3.  Dementia Care: Intersecting Informal Family Care and Formal Care Systems 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:486521.
Dementia is one of the major causes of disability and dependence amongst older people and previous research has highlighted how the well-being of people with dementia is inherently connected to the quality of their relationships with their informal carers. In turn, these carers can experience significant levels of emotional stress and physical burden from the demands of caring for a family member with dementia, yet their uptake of formal services tends to be lower than in other conditions related to ageing. This paper is based on a qualitative study undertaken in the Australian state of Queensland and explores issues of access to and use of formal services in dementia care from the perspective of the informal family carers. It identifies three critical points at which changes in policy and practice in the formal care system could improve the capability of informal carers to continue to care for their family member with dementia: when symptoms first become apparent and a diagnosis is sought; when the condition of the person with dementia changes resulting in a change to their support needs; and when the burden of informal care being experienced by the carer is so great that some form of transition appears to be immanent in the care arrangement.
PMCID: PMC3950589
4.  Association of Leukocyte Telomere Length with Fatigue in Nondisabled Older Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:403253.
Introduction. Fatigue is often present in older adults with no identified underlying cause. The accruing burden of oxidative stress and inflammation might be underlying factors of fatigue. We therefore hypothesized that leukocyte telomere length (LTL) is relatively short in older adults who experience fatigue. Materials and Methods. We assessed 439 older nondisabled Danish twins. LTL was measured using Southern blots of terminal restriction fragments. Fatigue was measured by the Mob-T Scale based on questions on whether the respondents felt fatigued after performing six mobility items. Results. LTL was significantly associated with fatigue (P = 0.023), showing an increase of 0.038 kb/fatigue score unit. Aging-related diseases and mental health did not explain the association, while lifestyle factors slightly attenuated the estimates. Conclusion. Our results support an association between LTL and fatigue. Further studies are required to confirm this finding and the link of LTL with oxidative stress/inflammation over the life course.
PMCID: PMC3945148
5.  Following Up on Clinical Recommendations in Transitions from Hospital to Nursing Home 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:873043.
Following up on recommendations made at the time of a hospital discharge is important to patient safety. While data is lacking, specifically around the transition of patient to nursing home, it has been postulated that missed items such as laboratory tests may result in adverse patient outcomes. To determine the extent of this problem, a retrospective cohort study of subjects discharged from an academic medical center and admitted to nursing homes (NH) was followed to determine the type of discharge recommendations and the rate of completion. In addition, for the purpose of generalizability, the 30-day hospital readmission rate was calculated. 152 recommendations were made on 51 subjects. Almost a quarter of the recommendations made by the hospital discharging team were not acted upon. Furthermore, for the majority of those recommendations that were not acted upon, a reason could not be determined. In concert with national data, 20% of the subjects returned to the hospital within 30 days. Further investigation is warranted to determine if an association exists between missed recommendations and hospital readmission from the nursing home setting.
PMCID: PMC3941200  PMID: 24678422
6.  Effect of Caloric Restriction on Hepatic Sinusoidal System and Stellate Cells in Mice 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:670890.
Aging associated changes in liver include reduced hepatic blood flow, increased number of stellate cells, and collagen deposits in perisinusoidal space. We tested the possibility of mitigating these changes with caloric restriction. Two-month-old mice were subjected to 30 percent caloric restriction for 12 months and then examined for the effect of caloric restriction on the sinusoidal network, collagen deposition, and the number of stellate cells. Using intravital fluorescence microscopy, assessments were made on sinusoidal diameter, density, volumetric flow, perfusion index, and autofluorescence of vitamin A that was primarily stored with lipid droplets in stellate cells. A significant effect was observed in the vitamin A autofluorescence of stellate cells; stellate cell associated fluorescence was diminished in terms of number and size of fluorescent spots. Caloric restriction reduced collagen deposits in liver sections and lowered the gene expression of α1-(I) collagen but not α-smooth muscle actin. No differences were detected in sinusoidal dimension measurements. Our results showed that caloric restriction was effective in ameliorating the increase in stellate cells and the mild fibrosis in old mice. However, caloric restriction had no impact on stellate cell activity level as indicated by the unaffected α-smooth muscle actin expression.
PMCID: PMC3932198  PMID: 24649364
7.  Effects of Periodic Task-Specific Test Feedback on Physical Performance in Older Adults Undertaking Band-Based Resistance Exercise 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:171694.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of periodic task-specific test feedback on performance improvement in older adults undertaking community- and home-based resistance exercises (CHBRE). Fifty-two older adults (65–83 years) were assigned to a muscular perfsormance feedback group (MPG, n = 32) or a functional mobility feedback group (FMG, n = 20). Both groups received exactly the same 9-week CHBRE program comprising one community-based and two home-based sessions per week. Muscle performance included arm curls and chair stands in 30 seconds, while functional mobility was determined by the timed up and go (TUG) test. MPG received fortnightly test feedback only on muscle performance and FMG received feedback only on the TUG. Following training, there was a significant (P < 0.05) interaction for all performance tests with MPG improving more for the arm curls (MPG 31.4%, FMG 15.9%) and chair stands (MPG 33.7%, FMG 24.9%) while FMG improved more for the TUG (MPG-3.5%, FMG-9.7%). Results from this nonrandomized study suggest that periodic test feedback during resistance training may enhance task-specific physical performance in older persons, thereby augmenting reserve capacity or potentially reducing the time required to recover functional abilities.
PMCID: PMC3927558  PMID: 24616808
8.  White Blood Cell Count in Elderly Is Clinically Useful in Predicting Long-Term Survival 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:475093.
Introduction. White blood cell (WBC) count is often included in routine clinical checkups. We determined the prognostic impact of WBC count on all-cause, cardiovascular, and noncardiovascular mortality during an 11-year followup in a general population of 75-year-olds. Study Population. The study included 207 men and 220 women comprising 69% of the invited 75-year-olds in a defined geographical area. Main Results. The median WBC count (in 109/L) was 6.3 (interquartile range 5.4–7.2) for men and 5.7 (4.9–6.8) for women, P < 0.001 for sex difference. The hazard ratio (HR) for all-cause mortality per 109/L increase in WBCs was 1.16 (95% confidence interval, 1.03–1.32; P = 0.016) in men and 1.28 (1.10–1.50; P = 0.002) in women. These HRs were essentially unchanged by adjustment for established risk factors (current smoking, known hypertension, prior myocardial infarction, known diabetes, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and body mass index). Furthermore, increased WBC count was significantly associated with cardiovascular mortality in both sexes and with noncardiovascular mortality in women. Conclusions. The WBC count deserves attention as a potentially clinical useful predictor of survival in the 75-year-olds, especially among women.
PMCID: PMC3929281  PMID: 24624295
9.  Clinical Correlates of Awareness for Balance, Function, and Memory: Evidence for the Modality Specificity of Awareness 
Journal of Aging Research  2014;2014:674716.
Awareness in dementia is increasingly recognized not only as multifactorial, but also as domain specific. We demonstrate differential clinical correlates for awareness of daily function, awareness of memory, and the novel exploration of awareness of balance. Awareness of function was higher for participants with mild cognitive impairment (aMCI and non-aMCI) than for those with dementia (due to Alzheimer disease; AD and non-AD), whereas awareness of memory was higher for both non-aMCI and non-AD dementia patients than for those with aMCI or AD. Balance awareness did not differ based on diagnostic subgroup. Awareness of function was associated with instrumental activities of daily living and caregiver burden. In contrast, awareness of balance was associated with fall history, balance confidence, and instrumental activities of daily living. Clinical correlates of awareness of memory depended on diagnostic group: associations held with neuropsychological variables for non-AD dementia, but for patients with AD dementia, depression and instrumental activities of daily living were clinical correlates of memory awareness. Together, these data provide support for the hypothesis that awareness and dementia are not unitary and are, instead, modality specific.
PMCID: PMC3914567  PMID: 24551452
10.  Older Adults Making End of Life Decisions: An Application of Roy's Adaptation Model 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:470812.
Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify variables that influenced completion of advanced directives in the context of adaptation from national data in older adults. Knowledge gained from this study would help us identify factors that might influence end of life discussions and shed light on strategies on effective communication on advance care planning. Design and Method. A model-testing design and path analysis were used to examine secondary data from 938 participants. Items were extracted from the data set to correspond to variables for this study. Scales were constructed and reliabilities were tested. Results. The final path model showed that physical impairment, self-rated health, continuing to work, and family structure had direct and indirect effects on completion of advanced directives. Five percent of the variance was accounted for by the path analysis. Conclusion. The variance accounted for by the model was small. This could have been due to the use of secondary data and limitations imposed for measurement. However, health care providers and families should explore patient's perception of self-health as well as their family and work situation in order to strategize a motivational discussion on advance directive or end of life care planning.
PMCID: PMC3888737  PMID: 24455259
11.  Perceived Effectiveness of Elder Abuse Interventions in Psychological Distress and the Design of Culturally Adapted Interventions: A Qualitative Study in the Chinese Community in Chicago 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:845425.
This qualitative study examines US Chinese older adults' views on the perceived effectiveness, challenges, and cultural adaptations of elder abuse interventions to psychological distress in the Chinese community in Chicago. A community-based participatory research approach was implemented to partner with the Chinese community. A total of 37 community-dwelling Chinese older adults (age 60+) participated in focus group discussions. Data analysis was based on grounded theory framework. Our findings suggest that older adults perceived social support, empowerment, and community-based interventions design as most effective to promote psychological well-being of victims. The perceived preferences were similar between elder abuse victims and non-victims. Strategies to culturally adapt evidence-based interventions were proposed with respect to nurturing filial piety values, familial integrations, and increased independence. Research and educational outreach initiatives were also discussed. This study has wide policy and practice implications for designing and deploying interventions to reduce psychological distress with respect to elder abuse outcome. Cultural relevancy of health interventions is important in the context of the Chinese communities. Collective federal, state, and community efforts are needed to support the culturally appropriate design and implementation of interventions suitable for the needs of the Chinese older adults.
PMCID: PMC3886210  PMID: 24455260
12.  Impact of Endothelial Microparticles on Coagulation, Inflammation, and Angiogenesis in Age-Related Vascular Diseases 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:734509.
Endothelial microparticles (EMPs) are complex vesicular structures that originate from plasma membranes of activated or apoptotic endothelial cells. EMPs play a significant role in vascular function by altering the processes of inflammation, coagulation, and angiogenesis, and they are key players in the pathogenesis of several vascular diseases. Circulating EMPs are increased in many age-related vascular diseases such as coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease, cerebral ischemia, and congestive heart failure. Their elevation in plasma has been considered as both a biomarker and bioactive effector of vascular damage and a target for vascular diseases. This review focuses on the pleiotropic roles of EMPs and the mechanisms that trigger their formation, particularly the involvement of decreased estrogen levels, thrombin, and PAI-1 as major factors that induce EMPs in age-related vascular diseases.
PMCID: PMC3830876  PMID: 24288612
13.  Homeless Aging Veterans in Transition: A Life-Span Perspective 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:570407.
The need for counseling and career/educational services for homeless veterans has captured political and economic venues for more than 25 years. Veterans are three times more likely to become homeless than the general population if veterans live in poverty or are minority veterans. This mixed methods study emphasized a life-span perspective approach for exploring factors influencing normative aging and life-quality of 39 homeless veterans in Alabama and Florida. Seven descriptive quantitative and qualitative research questions framed the investigation. Study participants completed a quantitative survey reflecting their preferences and needs with a subset of the sample (N = 12) also participating in individual qualitative interview sessions. Thirty-two service providers and stakeholders completed quantitative surveys. Empirical and qualitative data with appropriate triangulation procedures provided interpretive information relative to a life-span development perspective. Study findings provide evidence of the need for future research efforts to address strategies that focus on the health and economic challenges of veterans before they are threatened with the possibility of homelessness. Implications of the study findings provide important information associated with the premise that human development occurs throughout life with specific characteristics influencing the individual's passage. Implications for aging/homelessness research are grounded in late-life transitioning and human development intervention considerations.
PMCID: PMC3826459  PMID: 24286010
14.  Decision Making Processes and Outcomes 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:367208.
The primary aim of this study was to examine the contributions of individual characteristics and strategic processing to the prediction of decision quality. Data were provided by 176 adults, ages 18 to 93 years, who completed computerized decision-making vignettes and a battery of demographic and cognitive measures. We examined the relations among age, domain-specific experience, working memory, and three measures of strategic information search to the prediction of solution quality using a 4-step hierarchical linear regression analysis. Working memory and two measures of strategic processing uniquely contributed to the variance explained. Results are discussed in terms of potential advances to both theory and intervention efforts.
PMCID: PMC3824331  PMID: 24282638
15.  Nutritional and Functional Assessment of Hospitalized Elderly: Impact of Sociodemographic Variables 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:101725.
Background. This work was constructed in order to assess the nutritional and functional status in hospitalized elderly and to study the associations between them and sociodemographic variables. Methods. 200 elderly patients (>65 years old) admitted to Internal Medicine and Neurology Departments in nonemergency conditions were included. Comprehensive geriatric assessments, including nutritional and functional assessments, were done according to nutritional checklist and Barthel index, respectively. Information was gathered from the patients, from the ward nurse responsible for the patient, and from family members who were reviewed. Results. According to the nutritional checklist, 56% of participants were at high risk, 18% were at moderate risk of malnutrition, and 26% had good nutrition. There was a high nutritional risk in patients with low income and good nutrition in patients with moderate income. Also, there was a high nutritional risk in rural residents (61.9%) in comparison with urban residents (25%). Barthel index score was significantly lower in those at high risk of malnutrition compared to those at moderate risk and those with good nutrition. Conclusions. Hospitalized elderly are exposed to malnutrition, and malnourished hospitalized patients are candidates for functional impairment. Significant associations are noticed between both nutritional and functional status and specific sociodemographic variables.
PMCID: PMC3810317  PMID: 24222851
16.  The Use of Multiple Correspondence Analysis to Explore Associations between Categories of Qualitative Variables in Healthy Ageing 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:302163.
The main focus of this study was to illustrate the applicability of multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) in detecting and representing underlying structures in large datasets used to investigate cognitive ageing. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to obtain main cognitive dimensions, and MCA was used to detect and explore relationships between cognitive, clinical, physical, and lifestyle variables. Two PCA dimensions were identified (general cognition/executive function and memory), and two MCA dimensions were retained. Poorer cognitive performance was associated with older age, less school years, unhealthier lifestyle indicators, and presence of pathology. The first MCA dimension indicated the clustering of general/executive function and lifestyle indicators and education, while the second association was between memory and clinical parameters and age. The clustering analysis with object scores method was used to identify groups sharing similar characteristics. The weaker cognitive clusters in terms of memory and executive function comprised individuals with characteristics contributing to a higher MCA dimensional mean score (age, less education, and presence of indicators of unhealthier lifestyle habits and/or clinical pathologies). MCA provided a powerful tool to explore complex ageing data, covering multiple and diverse variables, showing if a relationship exists and how variables are related, and offering statistical results that can be seen both analytically and visually.
PMCID: PMC3810057  PMID: 24222852
17.  The Association between Seasonal Variation in Vitamin D, Postural Sway, and Falls Risk: An Observational Cohort Study 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:751310.
Introduction. Low serum vitamin D levels are associated with increased postural sway. Vitamin D varies seasonally. This study investigates whether postural sway varies seasonally and is associated with serum vitamin D and falls. Methods. In a longitudinal observational study, eighty-eight independently mobile community-dwelling older adults (69.7 ± 7.6 years) were evaluated on five occasions over one year, measuring postural sway (force platform), vitamin D levels, fall incidence, and causes and adverse outcomes. Mixed-methods Poisson regression was used to determine associations between measures. Results. Postural sway did not vary over the year. Vitamin D levels varied seasonally (P < 0.001), peaking in summer. Incidence of falls (P = 0.01) and injurious falls (P = 0.02) were lower in spring, with the highest fall rate at the end of autumn. Postural sway was not related to vitamin D (P = 0.87) or fall rates, but it was associated with fall injuries (IRR 1.59 (CI 1.14 to 2.24, P = 0.007). Conclusions. Postural sway remained stable across the year while vitamin D varied seasonally. Participants with high values for postural sway demonstrated higher rates of injurious falls. This study provides important evidence for clinicians and researchers providing interventions measuring balance outcomes across seasons.
PMCID: PMC3816055  PMID: 24223307
18.  Factors Associated with Women's Chronic Disease Management: Associations of Healthcare Frustrations, Physician Support, and Self-Care Needs 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:982052.
Previous research emphasizes the importance of reducing healthcare frustrations and enhancing physician supports to help patients engage in recommended healthcare regimens. However, less is known about how these factors are associated with aging women's knowledge about self-care behavior. This study examined the sociodemographics, health indicators, healthcare-related frustrations, and perceptions of physician support associated with middle-aged and older adult females' self-reported need for help to learn how to take better care of their health. Data were analyzed from 287 females with one or more chronic conditions who completed The National Council on Aging (NCOA) Chronic Care Survey. A logistic regression model was developed. Women who were non-White (OR = 2.26, P = 0.049) were more likely to need help learning how to better manage their health. Those who had some college education or more (OR = 0.55, P = 0.044) and lower healthcare-related frustrations (OR = 0.44, P = 0.017) and perceived to have more physician support (OR = 0.49, P = 0.033) were less likely to need help learning how to better manage their health. Findings can inform the planning, implementation, assessment, and dissemination of evidence-based self-management programs for middle-aged and older women within and outside of clinical settings.
PMCID: PMC3809381  PMID: 24224090
19.  Physical Exercise and Brain Functions in Older Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:197326.
PMCID: PMC3791662  PMID: 24163767
20.  A Review of the Effects of Physical Activity and Exercise on Cognitive and Brain Functions in Older Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:657508.
Studies supporting the notion that physical activity and exercise can help alleviate the negative impact of age on the body and the mind abound. This literature review provides an overview of important findings in this fast growing research domain. Results from cross-sectional, longitudinal, and intervention studies with healthy older adults, frail patients, and persons suffering from mild cognitive impairment and dementia are reviewed and discussed. Together these finding suggest that physical exercise is a promising nonpharmaceutical intervention to prevent age-related cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.
PMCID: PMC3786463  PMID: 24102028
21.  Differential Item Functioning Related to Age in the Reading Subtest of the Test of Functional Health Literacy in Adults 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:654589.
Differential item functioning (DIF) occurs when items in a measure perform in ways that are different for members of a target group when the different performance is not related to the individual's overall ability to be assessed. DIF may arise for a number of reasons but is often evaluated in order to ensure that tests and measures are fair evaluations of a group's abilities. Based on observations when administering the test, we developed the hypothesis that some items on the reading comprehension subtest of the Test of Functional Health Literacy (TOFHLA) might be differentially more difficult for older adults and the elderly due to its use of the cloze response format, in which the participant is required to determine what word, when placed in a blank space in a sentence, will ensure that the sentence is intelligible. Others have suggested that the cloze response format may make demands on verbal fluency, an ability that is reduced with the increasing age. Our analyses show that age-related DIF may present in a nearly one-half of reading comprehension items of the TOFHLA. Results of this measure in older persons should be interpreted cautiously.
PMCID: PMC3782000  PMID: 24089638
22.  The Engagement in Physical Activity for Middle-Aged and Older Adults with Multiple Chronic Conditions: Findings from a Community Health Assessment 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:152868.
The current aging trends accompanying the increasing prevalence of multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) and decreasing participation in physical activity (PA) have swept the United States. In light of the magnitude of this phenomenon, this study seeks to identify the most common MCC combinations and their relationships with PA level. A cross-sectional study, Brazos Valley Health Assessment, was conducted between October 2009 and July 2010. All data analyses were performed by STATA 12.0. The overall sample which met the inclusion criteria is 2,603. Among people older than 45 years, chronic conditions of cardiovascular, endocrine, and musculoskeletal systems were the most prevalent. Participants with three chronic conditions were less likely to meet the PA standard than those with only two chronic conditions. Younger age, women, rural residence, and unsafe environments were related to the lower PA level. After adjusting for seven covariates, all MCCs combinations adversely affect the level of PA (OR < 1.0, P < 0.05). People with MCCs were among the least active subgroups despite the health benefits of doing exercise. Given the well-documented benefits of physical activity for delaying the onset or progression of MCCs, public health efforts to enhance regular PA in middle-aged and older adults are recommended.
PMCID: PMC3780626  PMID: 24089637
23.  Alzheimer's Disease Clinical and Research Update for Health Care Practitioners 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:207178.
Of the approximately 6.8 million Americans who have been diagnosed with dementia, over 5 million have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Due to the rise in the aging population, these figures are expected to double by 2050. The following paper provides an up-to-date review of clinical issues and relevant research. Research related to the methods of the earliest possible detection of AD is ongoing. Health care professionals should play a critical role in differentially diagnosing AD patients, as well as supporting their families. Novel interventions, including medications, natural supplements, and behavioral techniques, are constantly appearing in the literature. It is necessary for the health practitioner to remain current, regarding AD, as such information will facilitate better care for patients and their families.
PMCID: PMC3776389  PMID: 24083026
24.  Age-Related Increase in Electromyography Burst Activity in Males and Females 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:720246.
The rapid advancement of electromyography (EMG) technology facilitates measurement of muscle activity outside the laboratory during daily life. The purpose of this study was to determine whether bursts in EMG recorded over a typical 8-hour day differed between young and old males and females. Muscle activity was recorded from biceps brachii, triceps brachii, vastus lateralis, and biceps femoris of 16 young and 15 old adults using portable surface EMG. Old muscles were active 16–27% of the time compared to 5–9% in young muscles. The number of bursts was greater in old than young adults and in females compared to males. Burst percentage and mean amplitude were greater in the flexor muscles compared with the extensor muscles. The greater burst activity in old adults coupled with the unique activity patterns across muscles in males and females provides further understanding of how changes in neuromuscular activity effects age-related functional decline between the sexes.
PMCID: PMC3747463  PMID: 23984069
25.  Single Stance Stability and Proprioceptive Control in Older Adults Living at Home: Gender and Age Differences 
Journal of Aging Research  2013;2013:561695.
In developed countries, falls in older people represent a rising problem. As effective prevention should start before the risk becomes evident, an early predictor is needed. Single stance instability would appear as a major risk factor. Aims of the study were to describe single stance stability, its sensory components, and their correlation with age and gender. A random sample of 597 older adults (319 men, 278 women) living at home, aged 65–84, was studied. Stability tests were performed with an electronic postural station. The single stance test showed the impairment of single stance stability in older individuals (75–84 yrs). The significant decline of stability in the older subjects may be explained by the impairment of proprioceptive control together with the decrease in compensatory visual stabilization and emergency responses. Younger subjects (65–74 yrs) exhibited better, but still inadequate, proprioceptive control with compensatory visual stabilization. Gender differences appeared in older subjects: women were significantly less stable than men. The measurement of the sensory components of single stance stability could aid in the early detection of a decay in antigravity movements many years before the risk of falling becomes evident. Adequate proprioceptive control could mitigate the effects of all other risks of falling.
PMCID: PMC3745841  PMID: 23984068

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