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  • Author: Michelle McDonald x
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Odessa Addison, Monica C. Serra, Leslie Katzel, Jamie Giffuni, Cathy C. Lee, Steven Castle, Willy M. Valencia, Teresa Kopp, Heather Cammarata, Michelle McDonald, Kris A. Oursler, Chani Jain, Janet Prvu Bettger, Megan Pearson, Kenneth M. Manning, Orna Intrator, Peter Veazie, Richard Sloane, Jiejin Li and Miriam C. Morey

Veterans represent a unique population of older adults, as they are more likely to self-report a disability and be overweight or obese compared with the general population. We sought to compare changes in mobility function across the obesity spectrum in older veterans participating in 6 months of Gerofit, a clinical exercise program. A total of 270 veterans (mean age: 74 years) completed baseline, 3-, and 6-month mobility assessments and were divided post hoc into groups: normal weight, overweight, and obese. The mobility assessments included 10-m walk time, 6-min walk distance, 30-s chair stands, and 8-foot up-and-go time. No significant weight × time interactions were found for any measure. However, clinically significant improvements of 7–20% were found for all mobility measures from baseline to 3 months and maintained at 6 months (all ps < .05). Six months of participation in Gerofit, if enacted nationwide, appears to be one way to improve mobility in older veterans at high risk for disability, regardless of weight status.