Cardiovascular disease may increase risk of rapid functional decline in older adult

In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study of adults aged 65 and older who were functionally independent, individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more likely to experience rapid functional decline than those without.

For the 392 individuals with CVD in the study, three distinct trajectories of function emerged over a four-year follow-up period: stable function (32.0 percent), gradual functional decline (44.2 percent), and rapid functional decline (23.8 percent). Similar trajectories were seen for those without CVD, with a smaller proportion in the rapid functional decline group (16.2 percent). Those who were women, older, and had less education and greater comorbidity were especially likely to experience rapid functional decline.

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