London, May 21 (IANS) Want to prevent frailty when you grow old? If so, then start maintaining good heart health. A new study indicates that low heart disease risks among older people may help them to prevent frailty.
Frailty is a condition associated with decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes. The outcomes include falls, fractures, disability, hospitalisation and institutionalisation.
The findings, published in the Journal of Gerontology, found that severe frailty was 85 per cent less likely in those with near ideal cardiovascular risk factors.
The study also found that even small reductions in risk factors helped to reduce frailty as well as dementia, chronic pain and other disabling conditions of old age.
“This study indicates that frailty and other age-related diseases could be prevented and significantly reduced in older adults. Getting our heart risk factors under control could lead to much healthier old ages,” said co-author Joao Delgado from the University of Exeter in Britain.
For the study, the researchers analysed data from more than 421,000 people aged between 60-69. The participants were followed up over 10 years.
The researchers analysed six factors that could impact on heart health. They looked at uncontrolled high blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, plus being overweight, doing little physical activity and being a current smoker.
“Individuals with untreated cardiovascular disease or other common chronic diseases appear to age faster and with more frailty,” the researchers said.
“Now our growing body of scientific evidence on ageing shows what we have previously considered as inevitable might be prevented or delayed through earlier and better recognition and treatment of cardiac disease,” they noted.