Author(s): Lauretani F, Semba RD, Bandinelli S, DayhoffBrannigan M, Lauretani F,
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Abstract The purpose was to examine the relationship of total plasma carotenoids, an indicator of fruit and vegetable intake, with walking speed and severe walking disability in older adults. Nine hundred twenty-eight men and women aged 65 to 102 years from the Invecchiare in Chianti (Aging in the Chianti Area [InCHIANTI]) study, a population-based cohort in Tuscany, Italy, were studied. Plasma carotenoids were measured at enrollment (1998-2000), and walking speed over 4 meters and 400 meters distance were assessed at enrollment and 6 years later (2004-2006). At enrollment, 85 of 928 (9.2\%) participants had severe walking disability (defined as being unable to walk or having a walking speed at the 4-meter walking test < 0.4 m/sec). After adjusting for potential confounders, participants with high total plasma carotenoids were significantly less likely to have prevalent severe walking disability (odds ration [OR] 0.59, 95\% confidence interval [CI] 0.38-0.90, p = 0.01) and had higher walking speed over 4 meters (beta = 0.024, standard error [SE] = 0.011, p = 0.03) and over 400 meters (beta = 0.019, SE = 0.010, p = 0.04). Of 621 participants without severe walking disability at enrollment who were seen 6 years later, 68 (11.0\%) developed severe walking disability. After adjusting for potential confounders, higher total plasma carotenoids were associated with a significantly lower risk of developing severe walking disability (OR 0.51, 95\% CI 0.30-0.86, p = 0.01) and were associated with a less steep decline in 4-meter walking speed over a 6-year follow-up (n = 579; beta = 0.026, SE = 0.012, p = 0.03) and with lower incidence rates of being unable to successfully complete the 400-meter walking test at the 6-year follow-up visit (beta = -0.054, SE = 0.03, p = 0.04). High plasma carotenoids concentrations may be protective against the decline in walking speed and the development of severe walking disability in older adults.
This article was published in Rejuvenation Res
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research