Change in motor function and adverse health outcomes in older African-Americans

Exp Gerontol. 2015 Oct:70:71-7. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2015.07.009. Epub 2015 Jul 21.


Objective: We tested whether declining motor function accelerates with age in older African-Americans.

Methods: Eleven motor performances were assessed annually in 513 older African-Americans.

Results: During follow-up of 5 years, linear mixed-effect models showed that motor function declined by about 0.03 units/year (Estimate, -0.026, p<0.001); about 4% more rapidly for each additional year of age at baseline. A proportional hazard model showed that both baseline motor function level and its rate of change were independent predictors of death and incident disability (all p's<0.001). These models showed that the additional annual amount of motor decline in 85 year old persons at baseline versus 65 year old persons was associated with a 1.5-fold higher rate of death and a 3-fold higher rate of developing Katz disability.

Conclusions: The rate of declining motor function accelerates with increasing age and its rate of decline predicts adverse health outcomes in older African-Americans.

Keywords: African-American; Aging; Disability; Mortality; Motor decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Black or African American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Geriatric Assessment / methods
  • Humans
  • Illinois / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motor Activity / physiology*
  • Motor Disorders / ethnology*
  • Motor Disorders / physiopathology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Sex Characteristics