Data concerning a random cohort of 1,119 70-year-old subjects were analyzed to evaluate the association between Upper Dyspepsia and Irritable Bowel Syndrome and functional ability. Seven hundred and thirty-four subjects were interviewed about abdominal symptoms and were visited at home by an occupational therapist who evaluated their functional ability. Among the survivors, 94% participated in a follow-up study five years later. Functional ability was registered on validated scales constructed for its measurement in a normal elderly population. It was found that both syndromes occurred more often among subjects with reduced functional ability. A significant association was found between the occurrence of Upper Dyspepsia and a reduction of mobility and lower limb function, and between reduced functional ability and Irritable Bowel Syndrome at the five-year follow-up. It is concluded that abdominal syndromes are associated to functional ability, suggesting that there is a diffuse disorder affecting both smooth and striated muscles.
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living; Aged; Cohort Studies; Colonic Diseases, Functional; Dyspepsia; Female; Frail Elderly; Gastrointestinal Diseases; Geriatric Assessment; Humans; Male; Sex Distribution