The association between objectively measured physical activity and subsequent health care utilization in older men

Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Group

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9 Scopus citations


Background: To examine the associations between objective physical activity measures and subsequent health care utilization. Methods: We studied 1,283 men (mean age 79.1 years, SD 5.3) participating in the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study. Participants wore a SenseWear® Pro Armband monitor for 1 week. Data was summarized as daily (i) step counts, (ii) total energy expenditure, (iii) active energy expenditure, and (iv) activity time (sedentary, ≥ light, ≥ moderate). The outcome measures of 1-year hospitalizations/duration of stay from Medicare data were analyzed with a two-part hurdle model. Covariates included age, clinical center, body mass index, marital status, depressive symptoms, medical conditions, cognitive function, and prior hospitalization. Results: Each 1 SD = 3,092 step increase in daily step count was associated with a 34% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 19%–46%) lower odds of hospitalization in base model (age and center) and 21% (95% CI: 4%–35%) lower odds of hospitalization in fully adjusted models. Similar but smaller associations held for other physical activity measures, but these associations were not significant in fully adjusted models. Among those hospitalized, higher step count was associated with shorter total duration of acute/postacute care stays in the base model only. There was a fourfold significant difference (from model-based estimates) in predicted care days comparing those with 2,000 versus 10,000 daily steps in the base model, but only a twofold difference (not significant) in the full model. Conclusion: Daily step count is an easily determined measure of physical activity that may be useful in assessment of future health care burden in older men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)820-826
Number of pages7
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - May 16 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study is supported by National Institutes of Health funding. The following institutes provide support: the National Institute on Aging (NIA); the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS); the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS); and NIH Roadmap for Medical Research (grant numbers U01 AG027810, U01 AG042124, U01 AG042139, U01 AG042140, U01 AG042143, U01 AG042145, U01 AG042168, U01 AR066160, and UL1 TR000128). This manuscript is the result of work supported with resources and use of facilities of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. The contents do not represent the views of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America. All rights reserved.


  • Health care utilization
  • Hospitalization
  • Objective physical activity
  • Older men
  • Step count


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