Abstract P265: Physical Activity is Inversely Associated with Multimorbidity in Men: Results from the Population-Based KORA-Age Augsburg Study
Background: The co-occurrence of two or more chronic diseases in one individual, commonly known as multimorbidity, has become a major public health problem among the elderly. Physical activity has proven to be an essential means to mitigate chronic morbidity and disability. Therefore, we hypothesized that physical activity was inversely associated with multimorbidity. Currently, epidemiological studies addressing this research question are lacking.
Methods: Using data from 1,007 men and women aged 65–94 years who participated in the population-based KORA-Age project conducted in Augsburg/Germany and two adjacent counties in 2009, thirteen chronic conditions were identified through a standardized telephone interview and a self-administered questionnaire. Physical activity scores were calculated based on the self-reported physical activity scale for the elderly (PASE), comprised of occupational, household and leisure activity items. Sex-specific logistic regression adjusted for age, BMI, education, and nutritional status was applied to determine the relation of the continuous physical activity score and multimorbidity (yes/no).
Results: Multimorbidity was prevalent in 62.3% and 68.5% for men and women, respectively. Physical activity (mean PASE score ± SD) was higher in men (125.1 ± 59.2) than in women (112.2 ± 49.2). Among men, the OR for multimorbidity was 0.57 (95% CI: 0.41–0.78) for a 100-unit increase in the PASE score. No significant results could be observed for women (OR: 1.17; 95% CI: 0.73–1.89) (p-value for sex interaction=0.271). Additional analyses of physical activity quartiles showed that the effect among men were mainly observed in the highest quartile versus the lower ones (Figure 1).
Conclusion: Our data suggest an inverse association between physical activity and multimorbidity in men, but not in women. Physical activity may counteract the development or progression of chronic diseases in men; further large population-based studies are needed to explore the possible sex-differences.
- © 2012 by American Heart Association, Inc.