Fitness and frailty can have significant impact on health

Alan Wu

April 27, 2011

A new study published by the Canadian Medical Association Journal has found that there is a significant link between a person's health, their levels of fitness and overall frailty. 

"We found that the prevalence of frailty increased exponentially with age throughout the adult life span and not just after age 65, where the sharpest inflection of the curve occurred," wrote Dr. Kenneth Rockwood of Dalhousie University. "At all ages, relatively fit people had a lower mortality and used fewer health care services."

Researchers evaluated almost 15,000 people ages 15 to 102 and found that, over 12 years, those who exercised more were less prone to mortality risks. Frailty also increased at all ages, particularly if the individual didn't stay physically active.

Experts suggest that exercise may also prevent falls, which pose a health risk to older adults especially. Seniors who are looking to age independently and safely may also want to invest in a personal emergency response system, which can be used to instantly send a medical alert if one requires assistance.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one out of three adults age 65 and over fall each year. 

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