Background: While cardiorespiratory fitness is strongly related to survival, there are limited data regarding musculoskeletal fitness indicators. Our aim was to evaluate the association between the ability to sit and rise from the floor and all-cause mortality.
Design: Retrospective cohort.
Methods: 2002 adults aged 51-80 years (68% men) performed a sitting-rising test (SRT) to and from the floor, which was scored from 0 to 5, with one point being subtracted from 5 for each support used (hand/knee). Final SRT score, varying from 0 to 10, was obtained by adding sitting and rising scores and stratified in four categories for analysis: 0-3; 3.5-5.5, 6-7.5, and 8-10.
Results: Median follow up was 6.3 years and there were 159 deaths (7.9%). Lower SRT scores were associated with higher mortality (p < 0.001). A continuous trend for longer survival was reflected by multivariate-adjusted (age, sex, body mass index) hazard ratios of 5.44 (95% CI 3.1-9.5), 3.44 (95% CI 2.0-5.9), and 1.84 (95% CI 1.1-3.0) (p < 0.001) from lower to higher SRT scores. Each unit increase in SRT score conferred a 21% improvement in survival.
Conclusions: Musculoskeletal fitness, as assessed by SRT, was a significant predictor of mortality in 51-80-year-old subjects. Application of a simple and safe assessment tool such as SRT, which is influenced by muscular strength and flexibility, in general health examinations could add relevant information regarding functional capabilities and outcomes in non-hospitalized adults.
Keywords: Functional assessment; health-related quality of life; musculoskeletal fitness; survival.
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