University of Oulu

Sinikumpu, SP., Keränen, MH., Jokelainen, J. et al. The association between chronic venous disease and measures of physical performance in older people: a population-based study. BMC Geriatr 21, 556 (2021).

The association between chronic venous disease and measures of physical performance in older people : a population-based study

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Author: Sinikumpu, Suvi-Päivikki1; Keränen, Maija-Helena2; Jokelainen, Jari3;
Organizations: 1Department of Dermatology, University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland and Medical Research Center, PEDEGO Research Group, University of Oulu, P.B.20, OYS, FIN-90029, Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center, Clinical Neuroscience Research Group, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland; Department of Geriatrics, Oulu University Hospital of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Northern Finland Birth Cohorts, Artic Biobank, Infrastructure for Population Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland;, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Healthcare and Social Services of Selänne, Pyhäjärvi, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-24


Background: Muscle pump dysfunction is an essential component of chronic venous disease (CVD) pathology. Aging reduces muscle strength which further weakens the venous return. However, the epidemiology of CVD and its relationship with the physical performance in older persons is poorly studied. We studied the prevalence of CVD in subjects aged over 70 years and its association primarily with the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) and 10 m walk test.

Methods: An accurate clinical leg examination was performed and the Clinical-Etiological-Anatomical-Pathophysiological-classification (CEAP, clinical classification of chronic venous disorders, C1-C6) determined by dermatologists in 552 subjects aged between 70 and 93 years belonging to the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 - Parents’ Study (NFBC-PS). Linear regression analyses were used to examine the association between CVD and functional tests and anthropometric measurements.

Results: The prevalence of CVD (C1-C6) was 54.3%. C1 was diagnosed in 22.1% (n=84), C2 in 15.2% (n=45), C3 in 8.2% (n=45), C4 in 7.8% (43), C5 in 0.4% (n=2) and C6 in 0.5% (n=3). The prevalence and severity of CVD increased with increasing age (p<0.05). Males presented more with severe stages of CVD (C4-C6) (p<0.001). Subjects with CVD had significantly lower total SPPB scores and longer times in the 10 m walk test (p<0.001). The association between CVD severity and SPPB remained statistically significant in females after adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI) and number of children. The 10 m walk test times were associated with CVD when adjusted for sex and age but not after adjusting for BMI.

Conclusions: It is recommended that detailed skin examination of legs should be performed by physicians treating older subjects in order to improve early diagnosis of CVD. We highlight the importance of physical activity in older persons — lower limb activation of older persons with CVD may improve venous return and therefore prevent progression of CVD. We found an association between CVD and gait speed, however, there may exist bidirectional relationship.

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Series: BMC geriatrics
ISSN: 1471-2318
ISSN-E: 1471-2318
ISSN-L: 1471-2318
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Article number: 556
DOI: 10.1186/s12877-021-02528-9
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3121 General medicine, internal medicine and other clinical medicine
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