Aspects likely to impact disability with age include a chronic condition or cognitive impairment, low physical activity, slower gross motor coordination, having poor lower-extremity function and being hospitalized, find researchers of Yale School of Medicine. Based on 12 years of data, the findings are published in the Jan.17 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine by a research team led by Thomas Gill, M.D., the Humana Foundation Professor of Geriatric Medicine and professor of medicine, epidemiology, and public health at Yale School of Medicine. With age, many people can no longer walk short distances or drive a car, and those with long-term loss of mobility have difficulty regaining independence. "Losing the ability to walk independently not only leads to a poorer overall quality of life, but prolonged disability leads to higher rates of illness, death, depression and social isolation," said Gill, who followed a group of 641 people aged 70 or older who could walk a quarter mile unassisted or who were active drivers at the start of the study. All participants could perform essential activities of daily living, such as bathing and dressing. Gill and his team assessed the participants for changes in potential disability risk factors every 18 months between 1998 and 2008. They also assessed the participants' mobility each month. Those who said they needed help from another person to walk a quarter mile were considered to be walking disabled. Those who said that they had not driven a car during the past month were considered driving disabled. On a monthly basis, the research team also assessed the participants' exposure to potential causes of disability, including illnesses or injuries leading to hospitalization and restricted activity, which increased the likelihood of long-term disability by 6-fold. The team found that multiple risk factors, together with subsequent illness and injury leading to hospitalization and restricted activity, are associated with an increased likelihood of developing long-term walking and driving disability. The team considered a disability to be long term if it persisted for at least six months. "We've learned that targeted strategies are needed to prevent disability among older people living independently in the community," said Gill. Source: Eurekalert << World Tourist Intensify Even With Crisis: UN 1 in 10 Canadians Find Prescription Drugs Unaffordable: UBC ... >> Recommended Reading Diseases Related to Old Age Ageing is referred to the accumulation of changes that brings a person closer to death. READ MORE Stop Ageing Start Walking Walking expands the hippocampus region of the brain and significantly improves a person's memory. READ MORE ‘Walk’ Away from Cancer Physical activity like walking can reduce the risk of developing a number of cancers including that of the colon, breasts, lung, prostate and endometrium. READ MORE Neurobiological and Psychosocial Disorders Due to Depression in Older Persons: The Netherland Study Late life depression is a serious problem amongst elderly. Depression, stress, loneliness could lead to the development of conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes and physical impairment. READ MORE Body Types and Befitting Workouts Workout and diet which is well suited for a pear shaped body. READ MORE Walking As An Exercise People walk for many reasons ranging from pleasure to mental relaxation, finding solitude or for exercise. READ MORE Walking for Fitness and Weight Loss A few extra steps a day are enough to keep you fit. READ MORE Who Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain? Walking early morning would improve your health as it helps heart and brain to function properly. Find more about its benefits for your body. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia A-Z Drug Brands in India Find a Doctor Hearing Loss Calculator More News on: Body Types and Befitting WorkoutsWalking for Fitness and Weight LossWalking As An ExerciseWho Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain?