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Psychological status and physical performance are independently associated with autonomic function.

Shahimi, N.H., Goh, C-H., Mat, S., Lim, R., Koh, V.C.A., Nyman, S.R., Tan, M.P. and Lim, E., 2022. Psychological status and physical performance are independently associated with autonomic function. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 21 (1), 29.

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DOI: 10.1186/s12938-022-00996-7


Background: Falls among older adults have become a global concern. While previous studies have established associations between autonomic function indicator; heart rate variability (HRV) and blood pressure variability (BPV) with fall recurrence, as well as physical inactivity and psychological disorders as risk factors for falls, the influence of physical activity and psychological status on autonomic dysfunction observed among older fallers has not been adequately investigated. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between psychological disorder and physical performance on autonomic nervous system (ANS) in older fallers. We hypothesized that older fallers have poorer autonomic function, greater dependency towards others and were associated with psychological disorder. Furthermore, we hypothesized that both physical performance and psychological status can contribute to the worsen of the autonomic function among elderly. Methods: In this cross-sectional survey, adults aged ≥60 years were recruited. Continuous non-invasive BP was monitored over 5 minutes of supine and 3 minutes of standing. Psychological status was assessed in terms of depression, anxiety, stress, and concern about falling, while functional status was measured using time-up-and-go, functional reach, handgrip and Lawton’s Instrumental Activities of Daily Life (IADL) scale. Results: A total of 62 participants were recruited consisting of 37 fallers and 25 non-fallers. Multivariate analysis revealed that Lawton IADL was independently associated with systolic blood pressure variability (SBPV) and diastolic blood pressure variability (DBPV) during both supine (SBPV: r2 = 0.080, p = 0.025; DBPV: r2 = 0.064, p = 0.046) and standing (SBPV: r2 = 0.112, p = 0.008; DBPV: r2 = 0.105, p= 0.011), while anxiety score was independently associated with SBPV and DBPV during standing (SBPV: r2 = 0.112, p = 0.009; DBPV: r2 = 0.105, p = 0.011) as compared to the other parameters. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that fallers had poorer ANS, greater dependence in IADLs, and were more anxious. IADL dependency and anxiety were the most predictive of autonomic dysfunction, and can be used in practice to identify poor autonomic function for the prevention of falls and cardiovascular diseases among older adults.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:fall; autonomic nervous system; psychological disorder; physical performance
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36844
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:11 Apr 2022 09:44
Last Modified:09 May 2022 11:12


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