Common causes of fatigue in older people

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A recent study from the University of Pittsburgh has found a strong link between high levels of fatigue in older adults and an increased risk of death within a few years.

This study reveals that older individuals who feel very tired or exhausted after engaging in activities are more likely to pass away within the next 2.7 years than those who experience less fatigue.

Previous research has suggested that more physical activity can help reduce fatigue. Yet, this study is the first to establish a direct connection between intense physical tiredness and a higher risk of premature death.

The research utilized the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale, a tool developed by the University of Pittsburgh in 2014, to measure fatigue levels.

This scale has gained international recognition and is now available in 11 different languages, reflecting its global applicability.

The study involved 2,906 participants, all aged 60 or older, from the Long-Life Family Study.

Participants rated how tired they expected to feel after various activities, from a leisurely 30-minute walk to more demanding tasks like heavy gardening or light housework, on a scale from 0 to 5.

Analysis of the data, taking into account other factors that could influence mortality, showed a clear pattern: individuals scoring 25 or more on the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale were 2.3 times more likely to die within the next 2.7 years compared to those scoring below 25.

This result underscores the importance of monitoring fatigue levels in older adults, as high fatigue appears to be a strong indicator of mortality risk.

The study not only highlights the significance of understanding fatigue in the elderly but also points to the usefulness of the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale as a tool for health professionals and researchers.

In addition to its immediate findings, the study adds to the broader understanding of how maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can help prevent diseases and enhance longevity.

This research emphasizes that feelings of tiredness in older adults might indicate more serious health issues, suggesting that addressing fatigue could play a crucial role in improving health outcomes for the elderly.

Published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, the study led by Nancy W. Glynn provides valuable insights into the relationship between fatigue, health, and longevity.

It offers a fresh perspective on aging, highlighting how crucial it is to pay attention to and manage fatigue in older adults.

If you care about health, please read studies about how Mediterranean diet could protect your brain health, and the best time to take vitamins to prevent heart disease.

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