Physical activity improves walking capacity in Chilean elderly

Policies to promote healthy ageing often emphasize a healthy diet and maintaining physical activity. But currently there is little good evidence to support the benefits of improved nutrition and increased physical activity levels for older adults from low-income or transition economies.

Alan Dangour from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom, and colleagues report this week in PLoS Medicine the outcomes of the Cost-effectiveness Evaluation of a Nutritional supplement and EXercise program for older people — CENEX — which evaluated whether Chile's national nutritional supplementation and physical exercise program prevented pneumonia and physical functional decline in older people in Santiago, and whether these interventions were cost-effective.

Using a cluster randomized trial design they found that during the 2-year trial the incidence rate of pneumonia did not differ between intervention and control groups but, at the end of the study period, there was a significant difference in walking capacity between the intervention and control clusters. Therefore, the provision of locally-available classes to older people could be of clinical benefit, especially in urban settings.

More information: Dangour AD, Albala C, Allen E, Grundy E, Walker DG, et al. (2011) Effect of a Nutrition Supplement and Physical Activity Program on Pneumonia and Walking Capacity in Chilean Older People: A Factorial Cluster Randomized Trial. PLoS Med 8(4): e1001023. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001023
Citation: Physical activity improves walking capacity in Chilean elderly (2011, April 19) retrieved 22 September 2019 from
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