|Title||Relation of incident chronic disease with changes in muscle function, mobility, and self-reported health: Results from the Health and Retirement Study|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||Forthcoming|
|Authors||Davis, J, Lim, E, Taira, DA, Chen, J|
|Journal||PLOS Global Public Health|
|Keywords||Chronic disease, mobility, muscle function, Self-reported health|
The primary objective was to learn the extent that muscle function, mobility, and self-reported health decline following incident diabetes, stroke, lung problem, and heart problems. A secondary objective was to measure subsequent recovery following the incident events. A longitudinal panel study of the natural history of four major chronic diseases using the Health and Retirement Study, a nationally representative sample of adults over age 50 years. People first interviewed from 1998–2004 were followed across five biannual exams. The study included 5,665 participants who reported not having diabetes, stroke, lung problems, and heart problems at their baseline interview. Their mean age was 57.3 years (SD = 6.0). They were followed for an average of 4.3 biannual interviews. Declines and subsequent recovery in self-reported health, muscle function, and mobility were examined graphically and modeled using negative binomial regression. The study also measured the incidence rates and prevalence of single and multiple chronic diseases across the follow-up years.Self-reported health and muscle function declined significantly following incident stroke, heart problems, lung problems, and multiple chronic diseases. Mobility declined significantly except following incident diabetes. Self-reported health improved following incident multiple chronic conditions, but recovery was limited compared to initial decline. Population prevalence after five follow-up waves reached 9.0% for diabetes, 8.1% for heart problems, 3.4% for lung disease, 2.1% for stroke, and 5.2% for multiple chronic diseases. Significant declines in self-reported health, muscle function, and mobility occurred within two years of chronic disease incidence with only limited subsequent recovery. Incurring a second chronic disease further increased the declines. Early intervention following incident chronic disease seems warranted to prevent declines in strength, mobility, and perceptions of health.