Background and objectives: Although physical function is a major determinant of health outcomes and quality of life in older adults, standard tools for its assessment have not been routinely applied to the fastest growing segment of the kidney transplant candidate population, which is at high risk of comorbidity and disability--people over age 60. The objective of this study was to describe the baseline physical function in older adults with renal failure referred for transplantation and compare them with older adults with other significant comorbidity.
Design, setting, participants, & measurements: An observational sample comparing physical performance in renal transplant candidates over age 60 (Renal Failure) to older people with diastolic heart failure (Heart Failure), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or at high risk for cardiovascular disease (High CV Risk) was studied.
Results: Older people with Renal Failure were significantly impaired by objective measures of physical function, including lower Short Physical Performance Battery, slower gait speed, and lower grip strength.
Conclusions: Older people referred for renal transplantation had poorer physical performance than older adults with other common chronic diseases and may be at high risk for disability while awaiting transplantation.