Slow Gait Speed and Risk of Long-Term Nursing Home Residence in Older Women, Adjusting for Competing Risk of Mortality: Results from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures

Jennifer G. Lyons, Kristine E. Ensrud, John T. Schousboe, Charles E. McCulloch, Brent C. Taylor, Timothy C. Heeren, Sherri O. Stuver, Lisa Fredman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: To determine whether slow gait speed increases the risk of costly long-term nursing home residence when accounting for death as a competing risk remains unknown. Design: Longitudinal cohort study using proportional hazards models to predict long-term nursing home residence and subdistribution models with death as a competing risk. Setting: Community-based prospective cohort study. Participants: Older women (mean age 76.3) participating in the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures who were also enrolled in Medicare fee-for-service plans (N = 3,755). Measurements: Gait speed was measured on a straight 6-m course and averaged over two trials. Long-term nursing home residence was defined using a validated algorithm based on Medicare Part B claims for nursing home–related care. Results: Participants were followed until long-term nursing home residence, disenrollment from Medicare plan, death, or December 31, 2010. Over the follow-up period (median 11 years), 881 participants (23%) experienced long-term nursing home residence, and 1,013 (27%) died before experiencing this outcome. Slow walkers (55% of participants with gait speed <1 m/s) were significantly more likely than fast walkers to reside in a nursing home long-term (adjusted hazards ratio (aHR) = 1.79, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.54–2.09). Associations were attenuated in subdistribution models (aHR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.30–1.77) but remained statistically significant. Conclusion: Older community-dwelling women with slow gait speed are more likely to experience long-term nursing home residence, as well as mortality without long-term residence. Ignoring the competing mortality risk may overestimate long-term care needs and costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2522-2527
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Volume64
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Keywords

  • Medicare
  • aging
  • competing risk
  • gait speed
  • nursing home

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