21 Aug Inactivity Plus Frailty Predict Mortality
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Olga Theou, MSc PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University
Affiliated Scientist, Geriatric Medicine, Nova Scotia Health Authority
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine, University of Adelaide
Halifax, Nova Scotia
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: We already know that moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, such as time accumulated during exercise, is associated with numerous health benefits. More recent studies also have shown that sedentary time, such as time accumulated during prolonged sitting at work, transportation, and leisure, can also increase the risk of adverse outcomes. What was not known was whether prolonged sitting affects people across different levels of frailty similarly. This is what we examined in our study.
We found that there were differences. Low frailty levels (people who are extremely healthy; frailty index score < 0.1) seemed to eliminate the increased risk of mortality associated with prolonged sitting, even among people who did not meet recommended physical activity guidelines. Among people with higher frailty levels, sedentary time was associated with mortality but only among those who did not meet recommended physical activity guidelines
MedicalResearch.com: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?
Response: Among people who are both inactive and vulnerable/frail, sitting time increases mortality risk, but among those who are extremely health (not frail) or active, sitting time does not affect the risk of mortality.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: Our study focused on mortality but other outcomes such as functional and cognitive decline are important and should be examined. Similarly, moderately and severely frail people makeup a large portion of our population but usually excluded from research studies. Clinical and population health studies need to include people across the range of frailty levels to better understand the impact of health behaviours such as sedentary behaviour on overall health.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
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CMAJ August 21, 2017 189:E1056–E1064; doi:10.1503/cmaj.161034
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