This study evaluates the role of inflammation, hormones, micronutrient deficiencies and other physiologic systems—singly and in combination—in the development of disability and frailty.
Its aims, in part, are being addressed through combined analysis of already-collected data in WHAS I and II that span the full spectrum of function in older women. Moreover, dysregulation in the systems at issue is increasingly hypothesized to result in adverse outcomes of aging through loss of reserves to cope with physiological stressors.
To evaluate this hypothesis, WHAS III researchers are currently conducting a series of innovative studies in conjunction with the seventh WHAS II evaluation, in which older adults experience stressors, such as exercise or an oral glucose tolerance test, to evaluate the amplitude of physiological response and rate of return to baseline levels over time. The study aims to elucidate the basic physiological underpinnings of disability and frailty.
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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.