A simple equilibrium test can predict the risk of death in the next 10 years

The ability to keep the body’s balance worsens with age. A new study has checked whether the ability to hold balance can tell about impending health problems. Indeed, among the subjects who could not stand for 10 seconds on one leg, there was a disproportionate mortality.

Difficulties with equilibrium in old age are due to a deterioration in bone quality, muscle mass loss and impaired processing organs of data on the body position in space. Along with the regression of cognitive functions, worn joints and sowing vision, this increases the chance of falling in old age. Poor balance can also indicate health problems like ear infections, stroke and multiple sclerosis.

The authors tested 1702 people with a stable gait from 51 to 75 years old. Analyzed weight, body relief, waist and anamnesis. As a test, subjects were asked to stand on one leg for 10 seconds. The second leg was supposed to rely on the lower leg, and his hands hang on the sides. Everyone was given 3 attempts. 348 or 1/5 participants did not pass the test, and the older the subjects were, the more they had a chance to fall. Among the persons of 51–55 years they were 5%, 56–60 years old – 8%, 61–65 years – 18%, and 66–70 years – 37%. More than half of the participants from 71 to 75 years old could not complete the task, which means they have a falling chance of falling 11 times higher than people 20 years younger.

Further 7-year tracking of the fate of patients revealed the laws between success in the test and mortality. 123 people or 7 % died of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as coronavirus. The mortality rate of those who lost – 17.5 % versus 4.5 % of those who managed. The non -passed test often had more health and excess weight problems, chronic heart disease and high pressure. Type 2 diabetes was also three times more often in this group.

Taking into account the conditions, age and gender, scientists have determined that a failure test for balance is associated with an increase in the chance of death in the next 10 years by 84 %. However, it was not taken into account that the participants were exclusively white Brazilians and that about 2/3 of the subjects were men. There was no data on injuries, sports, nutrition and bad habits. So it’s too early to make loud statements about the connection of the ability to keep the balance and the proximity of death. Especially when you consider that the balance can be trained, even thanks to ordinary yoga. Although to understand the overall health, the balance test can become a cheap non -invasive tool for standard clinical practice.

Source &#8212 University of Bristol

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