To profile participants based on reported outdoor physical activity barriers using a data-driven approach, describe the profiles and study their association with unmet physical activity need.
Cross-sectional analyses of 848 community-dwelling men and women aged 75-90 living in Central Finland in 2012. Barriers to outdoor physical activity and unmet physical activity need were enquired with a questionnaire. The latent profiles were identified by profiling participants into latent groups using a mixture modeling technique on the multivariate set of indicators of outdoor physical activity barriers. A path model was used to study the associations of the profiles with unmet physical activity need.
Five barrier profiles were identified. Profile A was characterized with minor barriers, profile B with weather barriers, profile C with health and weather barriers, profile D with barriers concerning insecurity, health and weather; and profile E with mobility and health barriers. The participants in the profiles differed in the proportion of individual and environmental barriers. The risk for unmet physical activity need was highest among people whose severe mobility difficulties restricted their outdoor physical activity.
Outdoor physical activity barriers reflect the imbalance in person-environment fit among older people, manifested as unmet physical activity need.
There are several lines of evidence pointing to fetal and other early origins of diseases of the aging brain, but there are no data directly addressing the hypotheses in an older population. We investigated the association of fetal size to late-age measures of brain structure and function in a large cohort of older men and women and explored the modifying effect of education on these associations.
Within the AGES (Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility)-Reykjavik population-based cohort (born between 1907 and 1935), archived birth records were abstracted for 1254 men and women who ~75 years later underwent an examination that included brain MRI and extensive cognitive assessment.
Adjustment for intracranial volume, demographic and medical history characteristics, and lower Ponderal index at birth (per kg/m(3)), an indicator of third-trimester fetal wasting, was significantly associated with smaller volumes of total brain and white matter; ßs (95% confidence intervals) were -1.0 (-1.9 to -0.0) and -0.5 (-1.0 to -0.0) mL. Furthermore, lower Ponderal index was associated with slower processing speed and reduced executive functioning but only in those with low education (ß [95% confidence interval]: -0.136 [-0.235 to -0.036] and -0.077 [-0.153 to -0.001]).
This first study of its kind provides clinical measures suggesting that smaller birth size, as an indicator of a suboptimal intrauterine environment, is associated with late-life alterations in brain tissue volume and function. In addition, it shows that the effects of a suboptimal intrauterine environment on late-life cognitive function were present only in those with lower educational levels.
The study reports on the associations of infant and childhood anthropometric measurements, early growth, and the combined effect of birth weight and childhood body mass index with older age physical functioning among 1,999 individuals born in 1934-1944 and belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study. Physical functioning was assessed by the Short Form 36 scale. Anthropometric data from infancy and childhood were retrieved from medical records. The risk of lower Short Form 36 physical functioning at the mean age of 61.6 years was increased for those with birth weight less than 2.5 kg compared with those weighing 3.0-3.5 kg at birth (odds ratio (OR) = 2.73, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.57, 4.72). The gain in weight from birth to age 2 years was associated with decreased risk of lower physical functioning for a 1-standard deviation increase (OR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.75, 0.94). The risk of lower physical functioning was highest for individuals with birth weight in the lowest third and body mass index at 11 years of age in the highest third compared with those whose birth weight was in the middle third and body mass index at age 11 years was in the highest third (OR = 3.08, 95% CI: 1.83, 5.19). The increasing prevalence of obesity at all ages and the aging of populations warrant closer investigation of the role of weight trajectories in old age functional decline.
Lower educational attainment generally is a strong predictor of coronary heart disease (CHD). The underlying mechanisms of this effect are, however, less clear. One hypothesis is that stress related to limitations imposed by lower socioeconomic status elicits changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning, which, in turn, increases risk of CHD. In a large cohort study, we examined whether educational attainment was related to risk of fatal and non-fatal CHD and the extent to which salivary cortisol mediated this relation independent of potential confounders, including lifestyles. Data came from 3723 participants aged 66 through 96 from the Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility (AGES) - Reykjavik Study. Between 2002 and 2006, data were collected using questionnaires and examinations including morning and evening salivary samples. Hospital admission records and cause of death registries (ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes) were available until December 2009. Linear regression and Cox proportional hazards analyses were performed. Even after adjustment for potential confounders, including lifestyle, persons with lower educational attainment showed a blunted cortisol response and also greater risk of incident CHD. However, our data did not support the role of cortisol as a mediator in the association between education and CHD in an older sample (192).
Coronary artery calcium (CAC) and physical performance have been shown to be associated with mortality, but it is not clear whether one of them modifies the association. We investigated the association between the extent of CAC and physical performance among older individuals and explored these individual and combined effects on cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality and non-CVD mortality.
We studied 4074 participants of the AGES-Reykjavik Study who were free from coronary heart disease, had a CAC score calculated from computed tomography scans and had data on mobility limitations and gait speed at baseline in 2002-2006 at a mean age of 76 years. Register-based mortality was available until 2009.
Odds for mobility limitation and slow gait increased according to the extent of CAC. Altogether 645 persons died during the follow-up. High CAC, mobility limitation and slow gait were independent predictors of CVD mortality and non-CVD mortality. The joint effect of CAC and gait speed on non-CVD mortality was synergistic, i.e. compared to having low CAC and normal gait, the joint effect of high CAC and slow gait exceeded the additive effect of these individual exposures on non-CVD mortality. For CVD mortality, the effect was additive i.e. the joint effect of high CAC and slow gait did not exceed the sum of the individual exposures.
The extent of CAC and decreased physical performance were independent predictors of mortality and the joint presence of these risk factors increased the risk of non-CVD mortality above and beyond the individual effects.
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Overweight and obesity in childhood have been linked to an increased risk of adult mortality, but evidence is still scarce.
We identified trajectories of body mass index (BMI) development in early life and investigated their mortality risk. Data come from the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, in which 4943 individuals, born 1934-1944, had serial measures of weight and height from birth to 11 years extracted from health care records, weight and height data in adulthood, and register-based mortality data for 2000-2010.
Three early BMI trajectories (increasing, average, and average-to-low for men and increasing, average, and low-to-high BMI for women) were identified. Women with an increasing or low-to-high BMI (BMI lower in early childhood, later exceeded average) trajectory had an increased risk of all-cause mortality compared to those with an average BMI trajectory (HR 1.55, 95% CI 1.07-2.23; and HR 1.57, 95% CI 1.04-2.37, respectively). Similar associations were observed for cancer mortality. Among men, BMI trajectories were not associated with all-cause mortality, but those with average-to-low BMI (BMI first similar then dropped below average) had an increased risk of cancer mortality.
An increasing BMI in early life may shorten the lifespan of maturing cohorts as they age, particularly among women.
Motor development and cognitive development in childhood have been found to be fundamentally interrelated, but less is known about the association extending over the life course. The aim of this study was to examine the association between early motor development and cognitive performance in early old age. From men and women belonging to the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study, who were born between 1934 and 1944 and resided in Finland in 1971, 1279 participated in cognitive performance tests (CogState?, version 3.0.5) between 2001 and 2006 at an average age of 64.2 years (SD 3.0). Of these, age at first walking extracted from child welfare clinic records was available for 398 participants. Longer reaction times in cognitive tasks measuring simple reaction time (SRT), choice reaction time (CRT), working memory (WM), divided attention (DA), and associated learning (AL) indicated poorer cognitive performance. Adjustment was made for sex, age at testing, father's occupational status and own highest attained education, and occupation in adulthood. Average age of learning to walk was 12.2 months (SD 2.1). After adjusting for covariates, earlier attainment of learning to walk was associated with shorter reaction times in cognitive performance tasks (SRT 10.32 % per month, 95 % CI 0.48-21.12, p = 0.039; CRT 14.17 % per month, 95 % CI 3.75-25.63, p = 0.007; WM 15.14 % per month, 95 % CI 4.95-26.32, p = 0.003). People who learned to walk earlier had better cognitive performance in early old age. The earlier attainment of motor skills may track over to early old age and possibly reflect greater cognitive reserve in older age.
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low cognitive ability is associated with subsequent functional disability. Whether this association extends across adult life has been little studied. The aim of this study was to examine the association between intellectual ability in young adulthood and physical functioning during a 10-year follow-up in older age.
three hundred and sixty persons of the Helsinki Birth Cohort Study (HBCS) male members, born between 1934 and 1944 and residing in Finland in 1971, took part in The Finnish Defence Forces Basic Intellectual Ability Test during the first 2 weeks of their military service training between 1952 and 1972. Their physical functioning was assessed twice using the Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire at average ages of 61 and 71 years. A longitudinal path model linking Intellectual Ability Test score to the physical functioning assessments was used to explore the effect of intellectual ability in young adulthood on physical functioning in older age.
after adjustments for age at measurement, childhood socioeconomic status and adult BMI (kg/m(2)), better intellectual ability total and arithmetic and verbal reasoning subtest scores in young adulthood predicted better physical functioning at age 61 years (P values
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To evaluate in a sample of initially middle-aged municipal employees whether leisure time (LPA) or occupational physical activity (OPA) was associated with mobility limitation (ML) in old age.
Prospective population-based follow-up.
Municipalities in Finland.
Public sector employees from the Finnish Longitudinal Study on Municipal Employees (FLAME) initially aged 44 to 58 (N = 5,200).
Baseline data were collected in 1981, including LPA (average exercise within previous year: inactive (no exercise), moderate (some form of exercise = 1 time per week), vigorous (brisk exercise = 1 time per week)) and OPA (usual activities at work within previous year: light (light work sitting, standing, or moving around), moderate (moderate work moving around), vigorous (heavy physical work)). Number of MLs was assessed using a questionnaire (8 items) in 1985, 1992, 1997, and 2009; the latest mobility score available for each subject was used for analyses. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for LPA and OPA predicting ML were estimated in a joint Poisson regression model adjusted for survival data; the other type of PA; and sociodemographic, socioeconomic, and health-related factors.
Mean age at baseline was 50.3 ± 3.6; 56.9% of participants were female. Participants with vigorous OPA in midlife had greater risk of a unit increase in ML in old age than those with light OPA (fully adjusted IRR = 1.09, 95% CI = 1.03-1.16). Participants with vigorous LPA had lower risk of ML than inactive participants (fully adjusted IRR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.76-0.86).
Findings suggest that LPA and OPA in midlife have independent, inverse effects on mobility in old age in terms of a harmful effect of vigorous OPA and a protective effect of vigorous LPA.