Inability to Balance on One Leg in Middle Age Tied to Premature Death

THURSDAY, June 23, 2022 — The inability to successfully complete the 10-second, one-legged stance in middle age is independently associated with premature all-cause mortality, according to a study published online June 21 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Claudio Gil Araujo, M.D., Ph.D., from the Exercise Medicine Clinic-CLINIMEX in Rio de Janeiro, and colleagues assessed whether the ability to complete a 10-second, one-legged stance is associated with all-cause mortality and adds relevant prognostic information. The analysis included 1,702 individuals (68 percent men) aged 51 to 75 years assessed prospectively between 2008 and 2020.

The researchers found that 20.4 percent of the individuals were unable to complete the stance, with survival curves significantly worse for those unable to hold the stance. When adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and comorbidities, all-cause mortality was higher for individuals unable to complete the stance (hazard ratio, 1.84). When combining the 10-second, one-legged stance into a prediction model of established risk factors, mortality prediction was significantly improved, as was discrimination improvement.

“There is potential benefit to including the 10-second, one-legged stance as part of routine physical examination in middle-aged and older adults,” the authors write.

Abstract/Full Text

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