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Geriatrics 2018, 3(3), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/geriatrics3030042

Balance and Gait of Frail, Pre-Frail, and Robust Older Hispanics

1
Department of Physical Therapy, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
2
Department of Health Sciences, University of Quebec at Chicoutimi, Chicoutimi, QC G7H 2B1, Canada
3
Department of Physical Therapy, Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Governador Valadares, MG 35010-180, Brazil
4
Department of Health Policy & Management, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
5
Department of Medical and Health Sciences Research, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA
6
College of Health and Human Services, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90815, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 17 July 2018 / Published: 18 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Healthy Aging)
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Abstract

Older Hispanics are an understudied minority group in the US, and further understanding of the association between frailty, gait and balance impairments in disadvantaged older Hispanics is needed. The objectives of this study were to compare the balance and gait of older Hispanics by their frailty status. Sixty-three older Hispanics (21 men, 42 women, mean age 75 ± 7 years) attending senior centers in disadvantaged neighborhoods were grouped by their frailty status and completed balance and walking tests at a preferred speed and during street crossing simulations. Sixteen percent (n = 10) of the participants were frail, 71% (n = 45) were pre-frail, and 13% (n = 8) were robust. Frail participants had poorer balance than robust participants (F = 3.5, p = 0.042). The preferred walking speed of frail and pre-frail participants was lower (F = 6.3, p < 0.011) and they took shorter steps (F > 3.5, p = 0.002) than robust participants. During street crossing conditions, frail participants had wider steps (F = 3.3, p = 0.040), while pre-frail participants walked slower (F = 3.6, p = 0.032), and both took shorter steps than robust participants (F > 3.5, p < 0.043). Frailty and pre-frailty were prevalent and associated with gait and balance impairments in disadvantaged older Hispanics. The findings can inform the development of programs and interventions targeting this vulnerable underserved population. View Full-Text
Keywords: older adults; frailty; gait; balance; function; mobility; Hispanics older adults; frailty; gait; balance; function; mobility; Hispanics
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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MDPI and ACS Style

Vieira, E.R.; da Silva, R.A.; Severi, M.T.; Barbosa, A.C.; Amick III, B.C.; Zevallos, J.C.; Martinez, I.L.; Chaves, P.H.M. Balance and Gait of Frail, Pre-Frail, and Robust Older Hispanics. Geriatrics 2018, 3, 42.

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