UMAG Kinesiology Team Measures Vulnerability in People Over 60

Frailty is a syndrome characterized by decreased resistance and physiological reserves in adults or older adults in stressful situations. This is the result of cumulative wear and tear on the system. The disease affects an estimated 10% to 20% of the global population over the age of 60, and in Chile it has been reported to be as low as 10%. One of the key factors is sarcopenia, the loss of skeletal muscle mass associated with aging.

Low physical activity and low muscle strength can affect this propensity to have accidents. A person who is not frail may stumble, fall, but stand up, while a frail person may break a bone causing sudden disability, or end up in the hospital with pneumonia, as many older people do. Who ends up dying from this cause.

“Sarcopenia is a common condition in older adults, and there are many factors that can cause you to lose your balance, and because of this muscle weakness, you’re at risk for falls,” said Anais Guerra, a fourth-year kinesiology student at the school. Anais Guerra Godoy said. The University of Magellan (UMAG) is working with 11 other colleagues to develop a fourth-year research project based on a study aimed at measuring the vulnerability of older people in the region, carried out at the Center for Teaching Aid and Research (Card Di Umag).

“There’s not a lot of research related to this population in Magellan and Chile,” adds student Heather Danick Dobson, “We also know that, over time, Punta Arenas’ This demographic is growing and the number of younger people “is decreasing, so it’s important to investigate this segment and there’s a huge opportunity for older people to get this information”.

The work in which Anais and Heather participated was led by Professor Felipe Retamal Matus and Kinesiology Program Leader Alejandra Fernández Elgueta, and supervised by a team at the University of Valencia, Spain, where Retamal is pursuing his PhD. “We’re looking for physical variables that allow you to predict whether a person will become frail or disabled in the future. We’re evaluating people who are active, who are in the community, who are over 60 years old and have a very normal day-to-day lifestyle” , who is also the CADI coordinator, explained. UMAG Kinesiology Unit.

To date, the student teaching team has evaluated 240 individuals, selected from an intentional non-probability sample in collaboration with the National Service for the Elderly and the Municipality of Punta Arenas, including UMAG’s different occupations users of the Aging Project. The purpose of these measurements is to understand how well you are doing and will be taken again next year.

“We go through several stages of recovery because everyone has different conditions, arthritis, osteoarthritis and other common diseases, and some diseases that we acquire because of the same diseases. , because they are deriving and increase,” says user Vilma Córdoba Vivero. “They allow us to gain more mobility and more power, more power,” he says. María Miranda Obando shared a similar view and was referred to CADI-UMAG by her psychologist. “It’s a tremendous amount of support as a person here and I find I can share it with other people because I shut myself off. We go through a lot of phases and everything makes us stronger. For example, my calf shrinks from being home, Here, I can already walk a little bit more and all the muscles are stronger,” he commented.

Preliminary results confirm that frailty affects about 10 per cent of the region’s population over the age of 60, with similar numbers nationwide, Retamal said. They also show that muscle strength is an essential factor. “A person with a lot of muscle is better prepared in everyday life,” the academic said. He believes this will make it possible to advance public prevention policies that focus, for example, on increasing the risk of obesity in the aging process. physical strength.

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