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      Dynamic Determinants of Longevity and Exceptional Health

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          It is well known from epidemiology that values of indices describing physiological state in a given age may influence human morbidity and mortality risks. Studies of connection between aging and life span suggest a possibility that dynamic properties of age trajectories of the physiological indices could also be important contributors to morbidity and mortality risks. In this paper we use data on longitudinal changes in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, pulse rate, blood glucose, hematocrit, and serum cholesterol in the Framingham Heart Study participants, to investigate this possibility in depth. We found that some of the variables describing individual dynamics of the age-associated changes in physiological indices influence human longevity and exceptional health more substantially than the variables describing physiological state. These newly identified variables are promising targets for prevention aiming to postpone onsets of common elderly diseases and increase longevity.

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          Most cited references 43

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          Handgrip strength and cause-specific and total mortality in older disabled women: exploring the mechanism.

          To examine the association between muscle strength and total and cause-specific mortality and the plausible contributing factors to this association, such as presence of diseases commonly underlying mortality, inflammation, nutritional deficiency, physical inactivity, smoking, and depression. Prospective population-based cohort study with mortality surveillance over 5 years. Elderly women residing in the eastern half of Baltimore, Maryland, and part of Baltimore County. Nine hundred nineteen moderately to severely disabled women aged 65 to 101 who participated in handgrip strength testing at baseline as part of the Women's Health and Aging Study. Cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, respiratory disease, other measures (not CVD, respiratory, or cancer), total mortality, handgrip strength, and interleukin-6. Over the 5-year follow-up, 336 deaths occurred: 149 due to CVD, 59 due to cancer, 38 due to respiratory disease, and 90 due to other diseases. The unadjusted relative risk (RR) of CVD mortality was 3.21 (95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.00-5.14) in the lowest and 1.88 (95% CI = 1.11-3.21) in the middle compared with the highest tertile of handgrip strength. The unadjusted RR of respiratory mortality was 2.38 (95% CI = 1.09-5.20) and other mortality 2.59 (95% CI = 1.59-4.20) in the lowest versus the highest grip-strength tertile. Cancer mortality was not associated with grip strength. After adjusting for age, race, body height, and weight, the RR of CVD mortality decreased to 2.17 (95% CI = 1.26-3.73) in the lowest and 1.56 (95% CI = 0.89-2.71) in the middle, with the highest grip-strength tertile as the reference. Further adjustments for multiple diseases, physical inactivity, smoking, interleukin-6, C-reactive protein, serum albumin, unintentional weight loss, and depressive symptoms did not materially change the risk estimates. Similar results were observed for all-cause mortality. In older disabled women, handgrip strength was a powerful predictor of cause-specific and total mortality. Presence of chronic diseases commonly underlying death or the mechanisms behind decline in muscle strength in chronic disease, such as inflammation, poor nutritional status, disuse, and depression, all of which are independent predictors of mortality, did not explain the association. Handgrip strength, an indicator of overall muscle strength, may predict mortality through mechanisms other than those leading from disease to muscle impairment. Grip strength tests may help identify patients at increased risk of deterioration of health.
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            Frequency domain measures of heart period variability and mortality after myocardial infarction.

            We studied 715 patients 2 weeks after myocardial infarction to establish the associations between six frequency domain measures of heart period variability (HPV) and mortality during 4 years of follow-up. Each measure of HPV had a significant and at least moderately strong univariate association with all-cause mortality, cardiac death, and arrhythmic death. Power in the lower-frequency bands--ultra low frequency (ULF) and very low frequency (VLF) power--had stronger associations with all three mortality end points than power in the higher-frequency bands--low frequency (LF) and high frequency (HF) power. The 24-hour total power also had a significant and strong association with all three mortality end points. VLF power was the only variable that was more strongly associated with arrhythmic death than with cardiac death or all-cause mortality. In multivariate Cox regression models using a step-up approach to evaluate the independent associations between frequency domain measures of heart period variability and death of all causes, ULF power was selected first (i.e., was the single component with the strongest association). Adding VLF or LF power to the Cox regression model significantly improved the prediction of outcome. With both ULF and VLF power in the Cox regression model, the addition of the other two components, LF and HF power, singly or together, did not significantly improve the prediction of all-cause mortality. We explored the relation between the heart period variability measures and all-cause mortality, cardiac death, and arrhythmic death before and after adjusting for five previously established postinfarction risk predictors: age, New York Heart Association functional class, rales in the coronary care unit, left ventricular ejection fraction, and ventricular arrhythmias detected in a 24-hour Holter ECG recording. After adjustment for the five risk predictors, the association between mortality and total, ULF, and VLF power remained significant and strong, whereas LF and HF power were only moderately strongly associated with mortality. The tendency for VLF power to be more strongly associated with arrhythmic death than with all-cause or cardiac death was still evident after adjusting for the five covariates. Adding measures of HPV to previously known predictors of risk after myocardial infarction identifies small subgroups with a 2.5-year mortality risk of approximately 50%.
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              Frequency domain measures of heart period variability and mortality after myocardial infarction


                Author and article information

                Curr Gerontol Geriatr Res
                Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                30 September 2010
                : 2010
                1Center for Population Health and Aging, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
                2Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center, Durham, NC 27705, USA
                Author notes
                *Anatoli I. Yashin: aiy@

                Academic Editor: Donald Craig Willcox

                Copyright © 2010 Anatoli I. Yashin et al.

                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.

                Research Article

                Geriatric medicine


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