Associations between cardiac arrhythmia, incident disability in activities of daily living and physical performance: the ILSA study
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 14:57 authored by Marianna Noale, Nicola Veronese, Lee Smith, Andrea Ungar, Srefano Fumagalli, Stefania Maggi
Background: Cardiac arrhythmias are common conditions in older people. Unfortunately, there is limited literature on associations between cardiac arrhythmias and physical performance or disability. We therefore aimed to prospectively investigate associations between cardiac arrhythmias and changes in disability and physical performance during 8 years of follow-up, using data from the Italian Longitudinal Study on Aging (ILSA). Methods: Cardiac arrhythmias diagnosis was posed through a screening phase, confirmed by a physician. The onset of disability in activities of daily living (ADL) and the changes in several physical performance tests during follow-up were considered as outcomes. Fully-adjusted and propensity-score Cox Proportional Hazard models and mixed models were used for exploring associations between cardiac arrhythmia and the outcomes of interest. Results: The prevalence of cardiac arrhythmia at baseline was 23.3%. People reporting cardiac arrhythmia at the baseline were significantly older, more frequently male, smokers and reported a higher presence of all medical conditions investigated (hypertension, heart failure, angina, myocardial infarction, diabetes, stroke), but no difference in dementia, Parkinsonism, cognitive or mood disorder. Cardiac arrhythmia at baseline was significantly associated with the incidence of disability in ADL (HR = 1.23; 95%: CI: 1.01–1.50; P = 0.0478 in propensity score analyses; HR = 1.28; 95% CI: 1.01–1.61; P = 0.0401 in fully adjusted models). Cardiac arrhythmia at baseline was also associated with a significant worsening in balance test (P = 0.0436). Conclusions: The presence of cardiac arrhythmia at baseline was associated with a significant higher risk of disability and of worsening in some physical performance tests, particularly those relating to balance. Screening and frequently assessing physical performance in older people affected by cardiac arrhythmia can be important to prevent a loss of physical performance, with further, potential, complications of medical management.
Publication titleJournal of Geriatric Cardiology
- Published version