Preventing or delaying the onset of limitations in physical function are top priorities in the new millennium, as the number of older adults with physical disability is expected to rise sharply over the next 20 years. These are the goals of the prospective, observational study WHAS II.
Initially comprising a representative sample of 436 high-functioning women ages 70 to 79 in Baltimore, Maryland, the study is yielding important insights into how and why declines in function develop and then progress to physical disability, how to identify individuals at the earliest, or “preclinical," stages of disablement and how compromises in both mobility and cognition develop and subsequently contribute to disability.
This cohort was originally studied in 1994 and is currently undergoing its seventh evaluation.
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Initial manifestations of frailty criteria and the development of frailty phenotype in the Women's Health and Aging Study II. Xue QL, Bandeen-Roche K, Varadhan R, Zhou J, Fried. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2008 Sep;63(9):984-90.
Nonlinear multisystem physiological dysregulation associated with frailty in older women: implications for etiology and treatment.
Fried LP, Xue QL, Cappola AR, Ferrucci L, Chaves P, Varadhan R, Guralnik JM, Leng SX, Semba RD, Walston JD, Blaum CS, Bandeen-Roche K. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2009 Oct;64(10):1049-57. Epub 2009 Jun 30.