Walking speed as indicator for functional disability in the elderly
The aim of this study was to analyze the walking speed as a discriminator of functional disability. This was an epidemiological cross-sectional study with a random sample of 622 individuals, in the age group 60-96 years, mean 71.6 years (SD= 7.39) for men and 70.78 years (SD= 7.96) for women. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were designed and the criterion discriminator of 2.44 meters walking speed (in seconds) were determined in order to predict the absence of functional disability in basic activities of daily living (BADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL). The areas under the ROC curve for the analyzes were higher 0.60 suggesting that the walk test has the potential to discriminate functional impairment, in BADL and IADL in both sexes. Walking time to discriminate functional disability was higher than 3.53 seconds for BADL and 2.47 seconds in IADL for men. For women, it was higher than 3.41 seconds for BADL and 3.19 seconds in IADL. The time of walking speed can be monitored in surveys and interventions population as indicator of functional disability in the elderly.
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