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M.-M. Dubuc, S. Barbat-Artigas, A.D. Karelis, M. Aubertin-Leheudre

J Frailty Aging 2014;3(3):148-152

Background: Both the level of education and functional capacity seems to be associated with the level of physical activity in the elderly. However, the relationship between the level of education and functional capacity in active elderly adults is poorly understood. Objective: To examine the association between the level of education and the functional capacity profile of active elderly adults. Design: Cross-sectional. Participants: One hundred and four elderly men and 198 postmenauposal women (mean age: 62.7 ± 7.6 years old) were recruited among registered members of the YMCAs of Montreal who practiced at least one hour of structured physical activity per week. Participants were then divided in two groups based on their level of education (the cut-off point was the high-school diploma). Measurements: Body composition (DXA), muscle strength (knee extensors, handgrip), estimated maximal oxygen consumption (2-km walk test), perceived health (SF-36) and functional capacity (timed up and go, alternate step and one-leg stance tests) were measured. The level of education of the participants was assessed by questionnaire. Results: Body composition was similar between groups. We observed that all functional capacity tests as well as the global functional capacity score were significantly higher in the most educated group compared to the least educated group (p<0.05). In addition, the most educated group had significantly higher levels of knee extensors strength, estimated maximal oxygen consumption and perception of physical functioning. Conclusions: A higher level of education was associated with a favourable functional capacity profile in our cohort of active elderly adults. However, the mechanism(s) which could mediate this association remain(s) unknown.

M.-M. Dubuc ; S. Barbat-Artigas ; A.D. Karelis ; M. Aubertin-Leheudre (2014): RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE LEVEL OF EDUCATION AND FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY IN ACTIVE ELDERLY ADULTS. The Journal of Frailty and Aging (JFA). http://dx.doi.org/10.14283/jfa.2014.16

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