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Reference Values of Gait Speed and Gait Spatiotemporal Parameters for a South East Asian Population: The Yishun Study

Authors Lau LK, Wee SL, Pang WJB, Chen KK, Abdul Jabbar K, Yap PLK, Mallya JU, Ng DHM, Tan QLL, Seah WT, Ng TP

Received 2 July 2020

Accepted for publication 12 August 2020

Published 24 September 2020 Volume 2020:15 Pages 1753—1765


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Lay Khoon Lau,1 Shiou Liang Wee,1,2 Wei Jun Benedict Pang,1 Kexun Kenneth Chen,1 Khalid Abdul Jabbar,1 Philip Lin Kiat Yap,1,3 Jagadish Ullal Mallya,1,3 Daniella Hui Min Ng,1 Queenie Lin Ling Tan,1 Wei Ting Seah,1 Tze Pin Ng1,4

1Geriatric Education and Research Institute (GERI), Singapore; 2Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore; 3Geriatric Medicine, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Singapore; 4Department of Psychological Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Correspondence: Shiou Liang Wee; Lay Khoon Lau Tel +6565924606
; +65 6807 8031
Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Background: Age-related slowing of gait has been reported to start as early as the fifth decade and accelerate beyond the seventh decade of life. A single cut-off for slow gait may not be appropriate for men and women of different ages. We aimed to report reference values for gait speed and spatiotemporal gait parameters of adult age groups in a South East Asian population.
Methods: A total of 507 community-dwelling adults, aged 21– 90 years were recruited into the study through random sampling, filling quotas of 20– 40 participants in each sex and age group (10-year age groups between 21 and 60 years; 5-year age groups beyond age 60 years). Demographic data, height, weight and information on comorbidities were recorded. Habitual gait speed and spatiotemporal parameters were measured, and the average of three trials was recorded using the GAITRite system.
Results: Gait speed peaked in their 40s for both men and women, but the trajectories differed slightly across age groups. Although similar for men in their 50s and 60s, gait speed was significantly slower among those aged 71 years and older. For women beyond 50 years old, gait slowed with age. After adjusting for height, women were found to walk significantly faster and with a longer step length than men. Women also walked with a significantly narrower stride width and less external rotation of the feet. The lowest quintile for gait speed in our study cohort was 0.9m/s, below the recommended cut-off of 1.0m/s.
Conclusion: We established the reference values as well as the quintiles for gait speed and spatiotemporal gait parameters across adult age groups in a multi-ethnic Asian population. This contributes to a valuable database for gait assessment and evaluation of preventive or rehabilitative programs.

Keywords: habitual gait speed and spatiotemporal parameters, normative data, quintile, comorbidities, community-dwelling adults

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