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Disability in aged people became one of the major challenges in China due to the acceleration of population aging. Nevertheless, there were limited methods to appropriately discriminate the degree of combined basic activity of daily living (BADL) and instrumental activity of daily living (IADL). The present study explored an empirical typology of the activity of daily living (ADL) and its association with health status among the elderly in China. Data throughout the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) was retrieved and Latent profile analysis (LPA) was conducted to identify the subgroups of ADL for included elderly subjects. Multinomial regression was performed to detect the effect of identified characteristics with ADL subgroups, and the restricted cubic spine was drawn to show the changes in the relationship between age-specific ADL disability and BMI. The overall participants (n=8108) were divided into three ADL classes by LPA - 'no BADL limitation-no IADL limitation' (Class one, n=6062, 75%), 'no BADL limitation- IADL impairment' (Class two, n=1526, 19%), and 'BADL impairment- IADL impairment' (Class three, n=520, 6%). Compared with the participants in Class one, the oldest-old, living without spouse, lacking of exercise, short in social activities, having experience of falls, having comorbidity of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, decreased cognitive function, depression symptom were highly associated with Class two and Class three. Additionally, malnutrition and asthma were associated with combined BADL/IADL impairment (Class three), while illiteracy was only associated with IADL impairment (Class two). Furthermore, a statistically significant U-shape association was detected between age and BADL/IADL disability (Class three vs. Class two) as well as BMI and BADL/IADL disability (Class three vs. Class one). The elderly aged 80-90 with IADL impairment were less likely to evolve into combined BADL/IADL impairment, and the elderly who were underweight or obese may have higher risk of combined BADL/IADL impairment. A novel functional assessment was explored based on LPA, by which elderly people could be classified into three distinct classes of combined BADL/IADL. The predictors identified with particular IADL/BADL classes could draw early attention to the onset of functional disability and enlighten targeted interventions to address consequent problems of aged people.


Yangchang Zhang, Yang Xiong, Qiuhua Yu, Shisi Shen, Li Chen, Xun Lei. The activity of daily living (ADL) subgroups and health impairment among Chinese elderly: a latent profile analysis. BMC geriatrics. 2021 Jan 07;21(1):30

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PMID: 33413125

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