In Japan, 2 approaches have been adopted to assess health and functional status in older adults. One is a battery of physical-performance tasks. The other is estimation of physical vitality using biomedical risk factors. Previous research has examined strength and direction of the relationship between functional fitness and performance on activities of daily living. Vital-age tests have most often been used to assess risk for developing a variety of age-related diseases. The present study examined interrelationships among functional fitness and vital-age scores in Japanese women (N = 129, mean age = 71.9). The functional fitness test battery consisted of arm curls, walking around 2 cones, moving beans with chopsticks, and functional reach. The vital-age test battery consisted of 6 coronary heart disease risk factors (systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, abdominal girth, and hematocrit) and 5 physical-performance variables (oxygen uptake and heart rate at lactate threshold, side-to-side stepping, 1-leg balance with eyes closed, and forced expiratory volume).
K. Tanaka is with the Institute of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, 305-8574, Japan, and the University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba Advanced Research Alliance (TARA). R. Shigematsu and M. Nakagaichi are with the Institute of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of Tsukuba. H. Kim is with the Department of Epidemiology at the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Itabashi, Tokyo, 173-0015, Japan. N. Takeshima is with the institute of Natural Sciences at Nagoya City University, Mizuho, Nagoya, 467-5802, Japan.