This study examined cross-sectional relationships and longitudinal changes in psychological well-being and selected physical conditions in urban and rural older adults. A 2-year longitudinal analysis was conducted as part of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology—Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Study on Aging in 1993 and 1995 in the urban area and in 1994 and 1996 in the rural area. The participants were 285 men and 341 women in the urban area and 301 men and 427 women in the rural area. Visual capacity and chewing ability were independent predictors of psychological well-being in urban elderly in the 1st survey and in the rural elderly in both surveys, and hearing capacity and movement capability were independent predictors of psychological well-being in urban elderly in the 2nd survey. Decrease in chewing ability was associated with decrease in psychological well-being in urban seniors; deterioration in visual capacity and movement capability was associated with decline in psychological well-being in the rural elderly.
Hisao Osada, Hiroshi Shibata, Shuichiro Watanabe, Shu Kumagai and Takao Suzuki
Kazuhiro Harada, Hyuntae Park, Sangyoon Lee, Hiroyuki Shimada, Daisuke Yoshida, Yuya Anan and Takao Suzuki
This study examined associations between perceived neighborhood environment and physical activity among frail older adults and whether these associations are moderated by fear of falling. Participants were 238 frail older adults. Daily step counts and duration of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity were measured using an accelerometer. Participants completed the abbreviated Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale; fear of falling and demographic and health-related factors were measured by a questionnaire. The interaction between crime safety and fear of falling was significantly associated with step count (p = .009) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .018) in multiple regression analysis. Stratified according to fear of falling, crime safety was significantly associated with steps (p = .007) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (p = .030) in the low fear of falling group. The results suggest that crime safety is associated with physical activity among frail older adults, and this association is moderated by fear of falling.
Yoshinori Fujiwara, Shoji Shinkai, Shuichiro Watanabe, Shu Kumagai, Takao Suzuki, Hiroshi Shibata, Tanji Hoshi and Toru Kita
This study investigated the effect of chronic medical conditions on changes in functional capacity in Japanese older adults. Participants comprised 1,518 people aged 65-84 living in an urban and a rural community. They were interviewed to determine the presence of chronic medical conditions and assessed for functional capacity using the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology (TMIG) Index of Competence. Follow-up occurred 4 years later. Statistical analysis revealed that self-reported medical conditions at baseline contributed to declines in the TMIG Index over the 4 years, even after participants’ age, sex, educational attainment, and baseline TMIG level were controlled for. In the urban area, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes mellitus, and musculoskeletal disease significantly predicted decline in the index, whereas in the rural area, hypertension and diabetes mellitus were significant predictors. These results indicate the importance of controlling chronic medical conditions in order to prevent further declines in functional capacity in older adults.