BACKGROUND: The purposes of the present study are to analyze whether tiredness in daily activities is associated with subsequent disability among nondisabled older adults and whether this association is mediated by walking limitations. METHODS: The investigation is based on baseline and follow-up data on 419 nondisabled 75-year-old persons in Jyväskylä, Finland, and Glostrup, Denmark. Onset of disability was measured by a validated scale based on seven items: combing hair, washing upper body, washing lower body, using the toilet, dressing upper body, dressing lower body, and cutting fingernails. Tiredness was measured by a validated scale based on the following items: using the toilet, washing and dressing lower body, and cutting toenails. Maximal walking speed was assessed by a 10-meter test. RESULTS: Tiredness in daily activities was significantly associated with subsequent disability when adjusted for walking limitations. CONCLUSION: The present findings indicate that it is important to take it seriously when older persons complain about tiredness, as these people are at higher risk of onset of disability.
Keywords: Activities of Daily Living; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Disability Evaluation; Fatigue; Female; Follow-Up Studies; Humans; Male; Mobility Limitation; Questionnaires; Regression Analysis; Walking