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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.

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Hiroshi Shibata

In 1991 the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology launched a new longitudinal interdisciplinary study on aging (TMIG-LISA). The study is designed to run until at least 2001 and includes both an observation and an intervention component. The intervention component was started in 1996 and was designed to assess the extent to which it might be possible to retard the rate of the aging process and prevent geriatric diseases and chronic conditions. In this article, a brief overview of the aims, objectives, and design and some preliminary outcomes from the TMIG-LISA are presented.

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Introduction Successful Aging in Japan: An Introduction to the Japan Special Edition Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko 4 2000 8 2 95 97 10.1123/japa.8.2.95 Research Program Descriptions An Overview of the Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology—Longitudinal Interdisciplinary Study on Aging (TMIG