Research shows strong link between fatigue and early death in older adults

Credit: Unsplash+

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh has revealed a significant connection between the level of fatigue older adults experience and their risk of dying within the next few years.

This pivotal research found that older individuals who feel extremely tired or exhausted after engaging in activities are more likely to die within approximately 2.7 years, compared to those who feel less fatigued.

Prior studies have indicated that increasing physical activity could help reduce feelings of fatigue. However, this particular study is groundbreaking as it is the first to directly associate severe physical tiredness with an increased risk of earlier mortality.

The research team utilized the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale, a measurement tool specifically developed by the University of Pittsburgh in 2014 to assess fatigue levels during different activities.

This scale has gained international recognition and is now available in 11 different languages, highlighting its relevance and utility in health assessments.

The study included 2,906 participants, all aged 60 or older, who were part of the Long-Life Family Study.

Participants were asked to rate their expected fatigue levels on a scale from 0 to 5 after performing various activities, ranging from a leisurely 30-minute walk to more vigorous tasks such as heavy gardening and light housework.

By analyzing the data and adjusting for other mortality risk factors, the researchers observed a clear pattern: individuals who scored 25 or more points on the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale had a 2.3 times higher risk of dying in the next 2.7 years than those who scored below 25.

This significant finding suggests that high levels of fatigue are a strong predictor of mortality risk among older adults.

The study underscores the importance of closely monitoring and understanding fatigue levels in this age group, as it can be an indicator of overall health and longevity.

Additionally, the research emphasizes the utility of the Pittsburgh Fatigability Scale as a valuable tool for health professionals and researchers in assessing fatigue.

It also aligns with broader research that supports the role of healthy lifestyle choices, such as maintaining a balanced diet and engaging in regular physical activity, in preventing diseases and promoting longer life.

This study not only provides insight into how feelings of tiredness in older adults can indicate more serious health issues but also suggests that addressing fatigue could be crucial in improving health outcomes for the elderly.

Published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, the study led by Nancy W. Glynn and her team offers new perspectives on aging and health.

It contributes to a deeper understanding of the relationship between fatigue, wellness, and longevity, marking a significant step forward in gerontological research.

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.

For more health information, please see recent studies that olive oil may help you live longer, and vitamin D could help lower the risk of autoimmune diseases.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.