The aim of the study was to examine 1) the incidence of disability in Activities of Daily Living (ADL), in persons 78 years and older 2) explore whether being physical active earlier is a significant predictor of being disability free at follow-up and 3) describe the amount of infor- mal and formal care in relation to ADL-disability.

Data were used from a longitudinal community-based study in Nordanstig (SNAC-N), a part of the Swedish National Study on Aging and Care (SNAC). To study objectives 1) and 2) all ADL-independent participants at baseline (N = 307) were included; for objective 3) all partic- ipants 78 years and older were included (N = 316). Data were collected at baseline and at 3- and 6-year follow-ups. ADL-disability was defined as a need for assistance in one or more activities. Informal and formal care were measured using the Resource utilization in Demen- tia (RUD)-instrument.

The incidence rates for men were similar in the age groups 78-81and 84 years and older, 42.3 vs. 42.5/1000 person-years. For women the incidence rate for ADL-disability increased significantly from the age group 78–81 to the age group 84 years and older, 20.8 vs.118.3/ 1000 person-years. In the age group 78–81 years, being physically active earlier (aOR 6.2) and during the past 12 month (aOR 2.9) were both significant preventive factors for ADL- disability. Both informal and formal care increased with ADL-disability and the amount of informal care was greater than formal care. The incidence rate for ADL-disability increases with age for women and being physically active is a protective factor for ADL-disability.


The incidence rate for ADL-disability increases with age for women, and being physical active is a protective factor for ADL-disability.

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Citation: Sjölund B-M, Wimo A, Engström M, von Strauss E (2015) Incidence of ADL Disability in Older Persons, Physical Activities as a Protective Factor and the Need for Informal and Formal Care – Results from the SNAC-N Project. PLoS ONE 10(9): e0138901. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0138901