Inter-gender differences of balance indicators in persons 60–90 years of age
Received 16 November 2017
Accepted for publication 14 March 2018
Published 11 May 2018 Volume 2018:13 Pages 903—912
Checked for plagiarism Yes
Review by Single-blind
Peer reviewer comments 3
Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker
Ewa Puszczalowska-Lizis,1 Przemyslaw Bujas,2 Slawomir Jandzis,1 Jaroslaw Omorczyk,2 Marek Zak3
1Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Physiotherapy, University of Rzeszow, Rzeszow, Poland; 2Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Institute of Sport, University School of Physical Education, Krakow, Poland; 3Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Institute of Physiotherapy, The Jan Kochanowski University, Kielce, Poland
Introduction: Precision of movements responsible for maintaining balance deteriorates with age due to natural involutionary processes, thus prompting a research question whether the values of gender-related stability indicators might differ significantly among the study subjects over 60 years of age.
Methods: The study group comprised 136 seniors (89 women, 47 men; aged 60–90 years). The CQ-Stab 2P 2-platform posturograph was used as the main research device, whereas the Mann–Whitney U-test was used to evaluate the gender-related differences in the average level of variables.
Results: In the open-eye test, significant gender-related differences were observed with regard to the statokinesiogram’s path length in the mediolateral (ML) direction in the subjects aged 60–69 years (p=0.004), mean frequency of center of pressure (COP) displacement and number of COP displacements in the ML direction in the subjects aged 70–79 years (p=0.028, p=0.019), and mean COP displacement in the anteroposterior (AP) direction in the subjects aged 80–90 years (p=0.026). When the subjects were deprived of visual control, gender-related differences were observed with regard to the mean frequency of COP displacement, number of COP displacements in the ML direction in the subjects aged 60–69 years (p=0.045, p=0.049), and the statokinesiogram’s path length in the AP direction in the subjects aged 70–79 years (p=0.015). In the oldest age group, the differences were noted in the statokinesiogram’s path length in the AP direction (p=0.001), a sway area delimited by the COP point (p=0.003), range of AP stability (p<0.001), and range of ML stability (p=0.048).
Conclusion: Gender-related differences affecting postural stability were found in the elderly. Men were characterized by a lower level of postural stability when compared with women. This highlights the need to have the gender-related differences taken into account, when developing various preventive and therapeutic programs specifically aimed at compensating certain involution-dependent deficits.
Keywords: aged, balance, postural control, geriatrics
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