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Edward W. Gregg, Andrea M. Kriska, Kathleen M. Fox and Jane A. Cauley

Self-rated health has been related to functional status, disability, and mortality in a variety of populations. This study examined whether self-rated health was related to physical activity levels independent of functional status in a population of older women. For this study, 9,704 women aged 65-99 rated their health on a scale ranging from excellent to very poor. Physical activity and functional status questionnaires and physical function tests were administered to evaluate levels of physical activity, strength, and function. Comparisons between women in three groups of self-rated health (good and excellent; fair; poor and very poor) indicated that higher self-rated health was strongly related to physical activity independent of physical strength, functional status, and co-morbidity. These findings suggest that physical activity is an important determinant of self-rated health in older women regardless of functional status.

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Brittney S. Lange-Maia, Jane A. Cauley, Anne B. Newman, Robert M. Boudreau, John M. Jakicic, Nancy W. Glynn, Sasa Zivkovic, Thuy-Tien L. Dam, Paolo Caserotti, Peggy M. Cawthon, Eric S. Orwoll, Elsa S. Strotmeyer and for the Osteoporotic Fractures in Men (MrOS) Study Group

We determined whether sensorimotor peripheral nerve (PN) function was associated with physical activity (PA) in older men. The Osteoporotic Fractures in Men Study Pittsburgh, PA, site (n = 328, age 78.8 ± 4.7 years) conducted PN testing, including: peroneal motor and sural sensory nerve conduction (latencies, amplitudes: CMAP and SNAP for motor and sensory amplitude, respectively), 1.4g/10g monofilament (dorsum of the great toe), and neuropathy symptoms. ANOVA and multivariate linear regression modeled PN associations with PA (Physical Activity Scale for the Elderly [PASE] and SenseWear Armband). After multivariable adjustment, better motor latency was associated with higher PASE scores (160.5 ± 4.8 vs. 135.6 ± 6.7, p < .01). Those without versus with neuropathy symptoms had higher PASE scores (157.6 ± 5.3 vs. 132.9 ± 7.1, p < .01). Better versus worse SNAP was associated with slightly more daily vigorous activity (9.5 ± 0.8 vs. 7.3 ± 0.7, p = .05). Other PN measures were not associated with PA. Certain PN measures were associated with lower PA, suggesting a potential pathway for disability.