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Are foot disorders associated with functional limitation in older people?

Discussion in 'Gerontology' started by Hylton Menz, Jan 13, 2006.

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  1. Hylton Menz

    Hylton Menz Guest


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    From the Journal of Aging and Health:

    Are Foot Disorders Associated With Functional Limitation and Disability Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults?

    Keysor JJ, Dunn JE, Link CL, Badlissi F, Felson DT

    The objectives of this study are to examine whether specific foot disorders and ankle weakness and foot pain are related to functional limitations or disabilities in elders. Community-dwelling adults 65 and older were enrolled in a population-based, cross-sectional study of foot disorders and health outcomes. Demographics, health status, comorbidities, self-reported foot and knee pain, function and disability, and observed structural foot disorders, body mass index, and ankle muscle strength were assessed on 717 participants. The associations of foot disorders, foot pain, and ankle muscle weakness with function and disability were examined with regression analyses. Foot disorders were not associated with functional outcomes or disability. Ankle weakness was associated with performance-based function (p = .005), self-report function (p < .001), and disability (p = .009). Foot pain was associated with self-report function (p = .01) and disability (p = .007). Foot pain and ankle weakness seem to be related to important health outcomes among older adults.​
    This paper stems from the 'Feet First' study of 717 older people conducted in Massachusetts, USA. The previous two papers can be found here and here.

    The surprising result is that foot disorders (including bunions, hammer toe, cock-up hallux, hammer toe, mallet toe, clawtoe, bunionette, overlapping toes and pes planus) were not associated with functional impairment (measured using timed side-by-side, semitandem, and tandem balance tasks, timed repeated chair stands, a timed short walk test and various self report measures). However foot pain and ankle weakness were associated with functional limitations.

    Cheers,

    Hylton
     
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