Review of secondary health conditions in postpolio syndrome: prevalence and effects of aging

Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Feb;94(2):139-45. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000166.


Objective: This study sought to better understand the prevalence and the severity of secondary health conditions in individuals with postpolio syndrome (PPS) as well as the association between these conditions and aging.

Design: A scoping literature review was conducted searching electronic databases for studies published from 1986 to 2011. The scoping review provided information regarding the prevalence and associations of secondary health conditions in PPS with age or other duration-related variables.

Results: The findings indicate that (1) individuals with PPS experience a number of serious secondary health conditions; (2) the most common conditions or symptoms are fatigue, pain, respiratory and sleep complaints, and increased risk for falls; (3) reports of the associations between the frequency or the severity of conditions and age-related factors are variable, perhaps because of methodological inconsistencies between studies; and (4) there is a marked lack of longitudinal research examining the natural course of health conditions in people aging with PPS.

Conclusions: Longitudinal research is needed to understand the course of health conditions and the impact of multiple secondary conditions in people aging with PPS. Efforts are also needed to develop and test the efficacy of interventions to prevent these secondary health conditions or reduce their negative impact.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Humans
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / complications*
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / diagnosis
  • Postpoliomyelitis Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence