Feeling Tired Can Predict Early Death in Older Adults

Feeling Tired Can Predict Early Death in Older Adults

How tired a person feels after certain activities as they get older could predict whether they will die at an earlier age, according to epidemiologists at the University of Pittsburgh.

What to know:

  • In the first study linking being easily tired to early death, researchers found that fatigability ― or how fast as person gets tired when they take part in a wide range of activities ― has been shown to forecast early mortality of adults as they get older.

  • The Long-Life Family Study followed 2906 participants aged 60 or older and spanning two generations, all of whom assigned difficulty scores of 0 to 5 for activities such as walking or gardening.

  • Older adults who scored highest in how fast they grew tired after activities were more than twice as likely to die in the next 2.7 years than lower-scoring counterparts.

  • Those who were able to increase their physical activity or exercise were shown to be able to decrease their fatigability score and thus increase their predicted longevity.

  • Researchers see the study as a way to provide some encouragement for people to stick with exercise goals and improve their odds of living long lives.

This is a summary of the article “Perceived Physical Fatigability Predicts All-Cause Mortality in Older Adults,” published by the Journals of Gerontology on December 15, 2021. The full article can be found on academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology.

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