Gender differences associated with physical functioning in older persons with angina
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OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine whether older men and women with and without angina experience differences in specific areas of physical functioning. METHOD: A historical population based cohort design was used to examine this question. Data were taken from the Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly which consists of four large cohorts of samples over 65 years of age living in four communities East Boston, Iowa, New Haven and North Carolina. The Rose Questionnaire was used to identify persons who had angina. Physical functioning was conceptualized under the Nagi framework and considered as either functional limitation/mobility or activities of daily living. Persons were considered disabled if they required assistance with any activity in these categories. Logistic regression was used to examine variables associated with gender differences in physical function. RESULTS: Six hundred and twenty-four person met the criteria for the classification of angina; 249 (39.9%) were men and 375 (60%) were women. In men and women, disability was greater with items associated with functional mobility than for activities of daily living but women were more affected than men. Self-rated health was important in explaining functioning in both areas. CONCLUSION: Older women who experience angina symptoms also have a greater lower extremity disability compared to men with angina. Angina may force older women to curtail more strenuous activities which could lead to further disablement.
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