Associations of the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) with Adverse Health Outcomes in Older Adults: A 14-Year Follow-Up from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA)

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Abstract

The Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) is an objective tool for evaluating three domains (balance, repeated chair stands, and gait speed) of lower extremity physical function in older age. It is unclear how the associations between SPPB scores and health outcomes persist over time. The aim of this 14-year cohort study was to investigate associations between SPPB scores and health outcomes among participants aged 60+ years in the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA). The exposures were SPPB scores (total and domain-specific) at baseline (Wave 2). The outcomes were mobility impairments, difficulties in performing basic activities of daily living (ADL) or instrumental activities of daily living (IADL), and falls, measured at seven subsequent timepoints (Waves 3 to 9). The analyses involved linear and logistic multilevel regressions. After adjusting for potential confounders, a one-point increase in the total SPPB score was associated with a 0.13 (95% CI: −0.16, −0.10) decrease in mobility impairment, a 0.06 (−0.08, −0.05) decrease in ADL disabilities, a 0.06 (−0.07, −0.04) decrease in IADL disabilities, and 8% (0.90, 0.95) lower odds of falling (averaged across all follow-ups). Associations between the SPPB domains and health outcomes were more varied. The SPPB may be a useful measure for identifying older adults at a high risk of adverse outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16319
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Dec 2022

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